Welcome - مرحبا - Merheba - ܫܠܡܐ - Merhaba - Къеблагъ

This Week in Northern Syria is a weekly newsletter covering recent events and long term dynamics in the regions of Syria controlled by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the affiliated Syrian Democratic Forces, and by the Syrian Interim Government and Syrian National Army under the auspices of Turkey. The newsletter pulls from a wide array of open source materials related to the topic, including local media outlets and social media channels, online output of involved actors themselves, research publications, books, and more.

My name is Alexander McKeever and I’m some sort of researcher/journalist based in New York City. I research and write this newsletter in my spare time, mostly as a way for myself to stay on top of the news in Syria in an organized manner. I’ve worked part time conducting open source investigations on various topics in Syria for a number of years. Much of that work involved geolocation and was focused on the dizzying landscape of opposition factions, meaning that I aim to include as accurate as possible location information in this newsletter and try to contextualize whatever militant factions are mentioned in a given story. I also have a background in history (my MA thesis on Kurdish nationalism in Syria can be read here) and am quite interested in Syrian history from the late Ottoman period onwards. I hope to increasingly add this element to my work as I find most coverage of the Civil War to have a cursory grasp of such, at best.

Why northern Syria? Why this AANES+SIG definition of northern Syria?

The geographical scope of this newsletter is partially defined by specific interests of mine, including the history and politics of the heterogenous Syrian-Turkish borderlands and how these shaped the way the conflict played out in these regions, the Turkey-PKK conflict, and the continued role of outside actors in Syria’s civil war. Also, as this is a one man operation, this definition that excludes HTS and regime-controlled territory was a convenient way to limit my workload.

If you enjoy this work or find it useful please consider supporting it with a paid subscription. While I enjoy putting it together it is labor intensive and I already work a full time manual labor job. Currently a paid subscription gets you full access to the newsletter archives as well as some bonus content - admittedly not much at the moment but more to come at some point.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or feedback at akmckeever@gmail.com

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Conflict and politics of the Syrian-Turkish borderlands