updated 2015.10.08 09:55 GMT-5:
heavy fighting near Hama, ongoing.
updated 2015.10.08 10:44 GMT-5:
updated 2015.10.08 22:10 GMT-5:
Seems to be an extensive battle. Videos showing anti-Syrian-government forces firing TOW’s and saying allahu akbar all the time, pro-SG. forces doing artillery and helicopter strikes (with the helicopters firing flares the whole time). Somewhat surprised seeing tanks without ERA. Also all those Mi24’s flying around are going to be in trouble as well once anti-Syrian-government forces get their air defense together… I am concluding that without speaking Arabic, I don’t have the capacity to usefully sort through the videos.
Searching for map type websites:
Disclaimer! “Filter” is set to low. linking to all sorts of sketchy sources.I most definitely do not personally approve much of what you’d find in some of these.
news of the day
Russia launches cruise missiles
off the beaten path
updated 2015.10.08 00:06 (GMT-5)
Ok, so with the recent entry of Russian forces in Syria, the stakes get bumped up a bit. Maybe. Maybe not.
In any case, in 2014 I made a project out of aggregating news sources on the war in eastern Ukraine, making a point to include separatist news sources to counterbalance to official storylines. I’m much less into doing that kind of thing now, but I have a feeling there’s interest.
However, I don’t speak a lick of Arabic. And this appears to be a less propaganda-centric event for Russian and English speakers. And I’m not particularly motivated — so I’ll just summarize what I found useful last time.
What I learned from brief experience aggregating Ukraine war news:
* make a list of sources you find valuable, sort by affiliation
* learn the vocabulary that people use to quietly but clearly identify their affiliation. Opposite sides typically use different words to describe each other. Sometimes euphemistically derogatory, sometimes not.
* search in local languages, if possible
* if it’s too hard, google Translate is improving, fast.
* on youtube, search for names of places, or type of military equipment being used, and sort by upload date. !! translate search terms into local languages !!
* find an obscure but relevant event that you already know about, search for it, to identify more sources you can use in the future
* skim, don’t read in detail. this is a dumpster-sorting job.
* propaganda. it’s all propaganda. don’t forget. what you really want isn’t going to appear on a website, but pieces make it into videos.
cultural stereotypes substantiated by research?
(click on Findings & Insights)