The 23 Twitter accounts you must follow to understand Syria

August 30, 2013

Two Syrian snipers take position in the heavily contested neighborhood of Karmal Jabl in central Aleppo. (Javier Manzano/AFP)

The news about Syria has been, and continues to be, important, fast-paced and at times overwhelming. It’s a lot to keep up with, not least because every facet of the conflict and how the world responds is complicated and deeply controversial. Smart people can and do disagree vehemently about what it all means – and what to do about it.

These are the people you should follow on Twitter to keep track of what’s going on inside of Syria (as well as within relevant circles outside of it), what it means, why it matters and how to think about it.

You should follow the whole list. But if this is too much, skip down to the general observers and start by following them, a great way to ease into Syria coverage.

Syrians

(1) NMSyria – Documents every twist and turn

(2) AlexanderPageSY – Fast, lots of good information

(3) Amal Hanano – After two-plus years, still remembers every fallen activist, every significant date

(4) BSyria – A heavy but thoughtful aggregator

(5) The_47th – Still angry. Can you blame him?

Journalists

(1) Liz Sly – My Washington Post colleague. Passionate about Syria. Brutally honest. (Also follow The Post's Loveday Morris)

(2) Rania Abouzeid – Despite the danger, still travels widely and deeply in Syria

(3) Martin Chulov – Thoughtful, fast-paced

(4) Jenan Moussa – Always on the ground; a remarkable story-teller

(5) Hassan Hassan – Analytical, knowledgable

(6) Abbie Fielding-Smith – Reads widely, exhaustive

Analysts/Thinkers

(1) Emile Hokayem – No-nonsense military analyst, cuts through the noise

(2) Joshua Landis – Controversial, but few are as knowledgeable on Syria

(3) Randa Slim – Good at seeing the bigger, regional picture

(4) Mike Doran – For the right-leaning Syria hawk perspective

(5) Toby Craig Jones – For the left-leaning Syria dove perspective

https://twitter.com/tobycraigjones/status/373438462579331072

General Observers

(1) Laura Rozen – Picks up every detail, assiduously fair-minded, insightful; if you follow only one person on this list

(2) Lara Setrakian – Founder of the invaluable Syria Deeply

(3) Michael Weiss – Deeply knowledgeable on Syrian rebels and opposition activists

(4) Dan Trombly – No one is sure how he knows so much, but he does

(5) Jeffrey Goldberg – A habit for putting it well

(6) Brown_Moses – Great at finding, evaluating and verifying on-the-ground videos, photos and first-hand accounts

(7) Laila Lalami – A novelist's eye

Note: You might find yourself disappointed by the dearth of women on this list, other than among the journalists. I am too. The Washington foreign policy community has a well-documented and unfortunate habit of favoring men. As for the near-total absence of women from Syrian online activist communities, this suggests some theories.

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Max Fisher · August 30, 2013