This is a summary of events that I have read about occurring in Syria each day. The purpose of writing everything down in this blog is mainly so I can keep track of everything that is going on and learn about the war and the region in-depth. The names/places/groups are probably overwhelming the first time you look at the blog; When I first started doing this I had a lot of trouble sorting them out as well. But it doesn’t take long to get used to them, and if you’re interested in following the war hopefully this is a useful site to use.

Organization and style of the blog:

  • I do the blog in a bullet-point style with the significant words in bold. I do it this way because it’s the style that I find it the easiest to learn from.
  • I organize the fighting and events by province, and try to arrange the events within that province around a key location.
    • For example, in Aleppo province I begin the section in northern Rif Aleppo (the countryside north of Aleppo), then Aleppo city, then southern Rif Aleppo, then eastern Rif Aleppo, and then the far north in the Kobane canton (since the events there largely operate separately from Aleppo city).
      • The order of the sections isn’t usually based on importance, I just usually try to keep them the same because it makes it faster for me to add stuff to them. I’ll change something to the top section if a major event/offensive is happening there (Idlib has been on the top for a while because of the Jaish al-Fatah offensive).
    • I also try to provide the map locations for all of the events I reference, videos I link to, ect.
      • A lot of sites don’t do this, but when you’re reading about airstrikes, battles, or whatever, it can feel like just a list of dates/names/places that don’t really mean much. By providing the map locations, you can see where in the country I’m actually referring to, and how it physically relates to other events I write about.
      • It also gives you an idea of where the most important fighting is, or where it might be switching to. For instance, if suddenly there is a week’s worth of airstrikes around some city/town in Daraa province, you can figure out what’s likely about to happen based on things such as the territory held by each side, the topography, nearby military bases, and supply routes. Providing the map locations just makes understanding the war much easier because you can get a better sense of how everything physically relates to everything else.
    • If I say “There was fighting west of Talbiseh”, that means fighting between government and rebel forces. I don’t usually identify the specific rebel or government groups unless it’s important. I do this for a couple of reasons:
      • The rebel groups can be identified by the videos/photos, so it’s more useful for me to not spend the time writing them down.
      • The various rebel factions involved might not be completely clear.
      • The fighters making up the government forces are deliberately kept unclear. That’s why I say “government forces”, unless it’s clearly one force like the SAA or Hezbollah. If I only referred to the SAA, I would be leaving out Iranians, Afghans, the National Defense Force, ect.
        • Very simply, “government forces” and “pro-government forces” has the same meaning as “rebels”; you should assume there are multiple groups represented for each side.
      • When it isn’t just rebels vs government, I identify each side.
      • Airstrikes are by the government unless they are identified specifically as Coalition/US airstrikes.
    • Most of the videos I post are from rebel groups, activists, and media outlets. This isn’t because I’m pro-rebel and so I’m only trying to show rebels blowing stuff up. It’s just that the government uploads very few videos.
      • Because of this, I identify government videos with headings such as “government forces”, or “a government report”.
      • Videos without a heading are from the more prolific uploaders like rebel groups, local activists, ect.
    • I put articles or events that are particularly important, or that deal with Syria in a larger context than just one region, at the beginning of the day’s post.

I try to get information from sources that aren’t entirely pro-Assad or pro-Rebel, but I’ll pull information from SANA or another known biased agency/individual if the news is backed up elsewhere. If I was presenting a biased account of what happens every day I wouldn’t really be learning much, I’d be learning a false version of what’s going on. Some days also may not have a lot of updates because some days I just don’t have a lot of time to catch up on what’s happened.

I provide the links to article that cover many of the events that happen. I do this so that you can see what I leave out, since I might not have time to bullet all of the different aspects of the event. If I appear to be leaving a viewpoint out, or oversimplifying an issue, it isn’t because I’m trying to present a pre-determined narrative; it’s just because I can only write down what I have time to do.

I began this blog at the suggestion of my then girlfriend/now fiance. I’ve been following the war since before it was a war, when the initial protests began. But in late 2013/early 2014, when (what was then) ISIL began capturing significant areas and when the government began to rely more heavily on foreign fighters and retake territory from the rebels, the war became too complicated to keep up with just by reading the news. I began compiling each day’s events in a Power Point on my computer. After 2 months of this, my girlfriend finally convinced me to put the information online in case other people were interested in it, and so I began Today in Syria.

Please comment if you want to, especially things that you like or that I could do better.

17 comments
  1. Dear frind
    You are doing a good job which allows many researchers and interens to learn in a streaming way about the ongoing conflict in Syria. One advice which will help us even more: please put links to the sources of information in any item you write. It will alow us to qoute you. Thank you Uriel

    • Yeah, I try to do that, or if it’s a report from just one source I at least put the name of the person or organization, but unfortunately I have fairly limited time so I can’t go back and try and find wherever I got it from when I forget to. Thanks for the comment though

  2. ondřej said:

    Thank you for your work!

  3. rogebcn said:

    Very good job. Congratulations.
    Some months ago I saw a photo of an anonymous killed YPG fighter. I did not know anything about YPG, Kobani or Syrian conflict.
    After a research I have known that his name was Dilovan Tilhildan and that he was killed in Abdoki in the east countryside of Kobani as you related in your post of 7/9/2014.
    In Spain we feel the Syrian conflict as a far problem and I would like to go in deep through this young killed YPG fighter.
    Could you help me to locate Abdoki in a map? I wold like to use google maps (satellite view) for finding the place on he was killed.
    Thanks in advance and regards from Spain.
    Roge

    buzon@rogebcn.es

      • rogebcn said:

        Yes,I think so. Thank you very much.
        Do you know the official website of YPG media center?
        I would like to know more personal information about Dilovan Tihildan, like where he was born, father’s name…
        I have seen some profile of others YPG fighters with this kind of information (“Şehîdên berxwedana kobanê”) but not for Dilovan.
        Thanks again

      • rogebcn said:

        ypgrojaba website has been running since november 2014 and Dilovan was killed on july 2014. He is not with de martyrs of this web.
        In 2014: Fighters martyred in action: 537 members of the YPG/YPJ,

        I have got the picture of the YPG confirmation of his dead, but not extra information was provided
        http://www.mustaqim.net/haber/islam-devleti-vuruyor-pyd-seferberlik-ilan-ediyor

        By the way, you can see the Dilovan´s military ID card that it was the first photo I saw by twitter and the began of my curiosity and my research.
        Thanks again, “Today in Syria” for you help and regards from Spain.

      • Ah okay, I can try and find the site tomorrow if you haven’t already, just let me know if I can help with anything else

  4. Musso7777 said:

    You are doing great, less words, sharp, focus and easy to understand, I really hope you can update your blog daily, one sentence would be good.

    thanks again and good luck in your studies..

  5. Anonymous said:

    Thank you for your efforts all these months

  6. balfour said:

    thankyou so much.
    your hard work will help humanity to understand, and hopefully one day help rehabilitate those affected by this undescribable tragedy imposed upon syrian society.
    Lets hope it will also help to prevent a future repeat-anywhere, and highlight those responsible for their crimes against humanity.
    (btw-i love your factual no B.S method-and if possible- verified sources are always very welcome…if possible 😉

    best wishes and lets hope the suffering ends one day soon

    • Thanks! I’m glad you and so many other people are interested in what’s actually happening, and that you care about the people harmed by it instead of just supporting political/regional interests

  7. I am Syrian, and I miss your blog !
    Don’t collapse for a long time, and keep the great job you are doing.

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