Our weekly selection of articles on Syria’s economy and society.
Special Report: For Islamic State, wheat season sows seeds of discontent: “Syrian farmers in Islamic State-held territory say production was hit by the conflict, poor rainfall and fuel shortages. Several told Reuters that Islamic State did not help farmers plant, and did not purchase their harvest as the Syrian government used to.”
UN report: 5.5 million displaced by war in first half of 2014, setting record: “Among the report’s main findings are that Syrians, for the first time, have become the largest refugee population under UNHCR’s mandate, overtaking Afghans, who had held that position for more than three decades.”
Pharmacists Take an ISIS ‘Re-Education Course’: “They told us that we are at war with the infidels and the deserters … and so we should grab weapons and fight by their side.”
‘Unprecedented Devastation’ Continues in Southern Damascus: “Residents of southern Damascus continue to suffer at the hands of an ongoing siege and an unforgiving winter, forcing the closure of the area’s only crossing point.”
How ISIS Rules: “As a resident of al-Tabqa, a town near Raqqa with an air base that was captured by ISIS in August, put it: “The irony is we were famous for not praying!”