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Syria

The Passing of a Syrian General Famed for Brutality

Brutal Syrian Security Chief’s Legacy

In the decade leading up to the momentous events of 2011 in Syria, the new generation of regime officers did not need to show publicly that they were as brutal and repressive as Ali Haydar’s generation, and this gave a false sense of softness and rationality, which is probably why many Syrians underestimated how brutal they could be, when challenged for the seat of power. Haydar would have given them no illusions.

A Nazi Taught Interrogation Tactics to Syrians and Egyptians

The Last Nazi of Damascus

It’s impossible to know whether Brunner saw the legacy of his brutal tactics bear fruit. But there is little doubt that Syrian and Egyptian interrogators today apply the same methods against their compatriots that the Nazis used against the Jews.

How I Survived a Syrian Gulag

How I Survived a Syrian Gulag

I used Bashar al-Assad’s words about change and hope for Syrians. He ordered me to lift my blindfold and then slapped me with bitterness and cruelty, repeating a series of insults accompanied by the phrase, “An intellectual, you bastard? An intellectual?”

Assad Remakes Syrian Faith to Suit the Regime’s Needs

Assad Remakes Syrian Faith to Suit the Regime’s Needs

Since the 2011 uprising, the Assad regime has turned to religion to shore up the state. The result is a religious power grab by the regime, intent on the “Assadization” of Sunni Islam.

How Syrian Monastery Culture Spread

How Syrian Monastery Culture Spread

Syrian monastic culture was extensive and influential, yet remains underappreciated, especially its effect on European Christianity, from architecture to music to religious practice. That same inspirational culture is under constant threat today, with destruction from aerial bombardment by Russian and Syrian forces.

Catfishing a Killer — with Uğur Ümit Üngör and Annsar Shahhoud

Catfishing a Killer — with Uğur Ümit Üngör and Annsar Shahhoud

Genocide researchers Annsar Shahhoud and Uğur Ümit Üngör tell New Lines’ Rasha Elass about their years-long undercover mission to expose the man behind the Tadamon masscre, how dark humor kept them sane and how they tricked him into into confessing — over Facebook.

How Close Did Israel Come to Peace with Syria?

How Close Did Israel Come to Peace with Syria?

"Diplomatic objectives must fully reflect the desires and priorities of the president. I took for granted Obama’s commitment to comprehensive peace without the benefit of due diligence — a major error on my part."