Guest post by @noornahas1.

Primary sources serve an extremely important function: they give you unfiltered access to events and give you an opportunity to develop your views outside of the frame provided by media, whether its mainstream or on social media.

These sources will help build your understanding of both the humanitarian and military aspects of the Syrian war and the opposition forces. Additionally, while viewing other secondary sources (Twitter users, news articles, analysts), you’ll find that you can more fully understand the context of a given video and weed out bad sources.

The majority of content related to the Syrian civil war is done in Arabic, but with tools like Google Translate Add-ons and Translation software being implemented into Twitter and Facebook, most of this content is increasingly accessible to non-Arabic speakers and should be taken advantage of. Additionally, for translation you can check the Syrian Civil War reddit’s list of volunteer translators.

Below is a list of groups categorized roughly by affiliation and type of organization.

Warning: Some of these videos may include extremely discomforting/upsetting content including videos of dead, mutilated bodies, executions, live combat, and footage of death. Occasional use of inflammatory language in Arabic.


Rebel Media Organizations:


Syrian Democratic Forces Media:


Kurdistan Media:


Activist Media:


Free/Independent Media:

  • Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently – Active, independent news source based in Raqqa, the capital of Islamic State. Video channel posts rarely but Twitter is updated several times a day. They also run a news site in Arabic and English.
  • Rozana – Active, posts both Arabic and professionally translated English videos. Safe for work and provides insight into non-combat aspects of Syria and the Syrian population with direct interviews on a range of topics.
  • Syria Direct – Active, posts English content from Syria. Generally safe for work.
  • SMART News Agency – Active, highly recommended free media in Syria. Reports and uploads a significant amount of high quality objectively produced documentation from Islamist, Free Syrian, and Kurdish areas. All Arabic, but each video includes an easily translated description.
  • Shahba Press Agency – Active.
  • Face the Truth – Active, includes interviews with Islamists, rebels, civilians, and volunteers. Channel has clear Islamist sympathies but Bilal Abdul Kareem provides valuable English language content from Syria.
  • SNN and SNN English – Active, occasionally posts primary source material. Generally an archive of other groups videos.
  • Free Media Channel of Abu Baraa – Pro-Rebel journalist/fighter. I wouldn’t consider him an activist in the sense of Hadi or other journalists who cover civilian attacks and non-combat. Inactive.
  • Damascus Bureau – Active on website, Youtube is inactive. Mix of Primary and secondary sources.
  • Orient News English – Active, posts interviews with officials and on the ground reports and video. Extremely pro-rebel. Usually safe for work.



  • Al Muhajirun – Active, uploads videos about foreign fighters in Syria.
  • Mazen Aloush – Active, Pro rebel Arabic Twitter user. Often uploads controversial videos to youtube, and has eyes on Arabic media. Extremely biased, but uploads some hard-to-find media occasionally.
  • Mohammed Refaee – Inactive channel that has some archived rebel footage, mostly Yarmouk Army.


Opposition/Rebel/Jihadist Groups: