Harmoon Observatory aims at monitoring the course of events related to the conflict in, and over Syria, from all sides and for all parties, in order to create a clear perception of what is happening on the various political, military, economic and social levels. As well as to figure out the different opinions of all acting parties and their activities and influence, through reports produced on the ground close to the events, where information about the Syrian issue is gathered and summarized in monthly reports.
The main objective is to monitor the development of the Syrian issue in order to create up-to-date knowledge that helps researchers and informs decision-makers of the latest updates.
This research is published by Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies
As it is simultaneously published by Centre for Syrian Studies (CSS) – University of St Andrews
Monitoring summary of May 2021
• As of May 2021, political stalemate is predominant over the Syrian issue.
• European and American positions remain one as to not allowing the legitimization of the Assad regime, despite him holding elections that did not receive their recognition. However, some small European states are now inclined to restore their relation with the regime. Noted increase in support from the European Right of the Assad regime.
• American delegations to the East Euphrates indicate their continuous support for PYD’s control over the area, and the absence of any will of withdrawing anytime soon: “We are here”.
• Russia is still determined to rehabilitate Assad and his regime, on the Arab front first, then internationally; while reinforcing its military presence, announcing a loan to Syria to import cereals from Russia.
• Prosecuting Assad for the use of chemical weapons is still present in international forums and within the United Nations.
• Syrian refugees are facing additional difficulties due to a more rigid treatment by some European countries, without much change noted in Europe’s overall policies towards asylum.
• Return of warmth noted in Saudi relations with the Syrian regime.
• Israeli military operations against Iranian sites on the Syrian territory are ongoing.
• There are regional parties still exploiting the Syrian crisis to recruit Syrians as mercenaries in other countries such as Libya, Yemen, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
• Iran’s attempts to infiltrate the Syrian society and state are ongoing.
• military control map in Syria did not see any change worth mentioning, throughout May 2021, Military calm is still prevailing despite occasional clashes between parties.
• Different areas of Syria experienced explosions, assassinations, arrest and torture.
• Kurdish “self-administration” areas saw demonstrations against forced conscription, prices increases, and against some practices implemented by the “self-administration”, which PYD militia met with live fire causing many deaths.
• Increased frequency of ISIS attacks in the Syrian desert.
• 90% of the displaced Syrians in the northwestern areas of Syria live under severe conditions.
• The voices of the Syrian elites are rising to demand the formation of a broad political body that represents the Syrians and becomes their voice despite their marginalization.
• Efforts by “Al-Nasra front” to present itself as a moderate organization striving to be accepted by the international community.
• Assad held elections with results known in advance. He exaggerated the celebration of the results and his speech received harsh criticism from large circles in and outside Syria, for its hostile tone.
• The regime continues forced displacement policies in order to reshape the demography of the country.
• Many areas of Syria are experiencing drought which negatively impacted agriculture and caused a shortage in water.
• The regime did not start any reconstruction process and could not provide valuable resources.
• The regime-controlled areas did not witness any economic or financial improvement. Living conditions are still harsh and the prices of basic needs continue to rise. Living conditions are still dire in other parts of Syria.
• Ongoing Drug production in the regime-controlled areas. Drugs are exported abroad for the benefit of militia, especially Hezbollah.
• Asma’ El-Assad’s name continues to appear in the news, and she is always present at the side of husband Bashar, while her photos continue to be displayed in official administration offices; this reflects her growing political and economic influence.
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