According to Department of Homeland Security Docket No. ICEB-2012-0002, F-1 Students whose country of citizenship is Syria “…may obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 status.”
DHS has recognized that the “crisis in Syria and economic sanctions imposed by the international community have negatively affected the whole of the Syrian economy”, thereby leaving these F-1s in a very unique and unfortunate financial position. To ease the burden, DHS is relaxing its requirements temporarily.
The docket goes on to answer some very important questions and address the requirements that are still in place to obtain work authorization. (Link provided above)