The conflict in Syria has entered a new phase. ISIS has been defeated, yet in many ways the war is metastasizing.
In Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, the war is as brutal as ever. After days of extremely heavy bombing, the UN secretary general called Ghouta “hell on earth.” Meanwhile, in another part of Syria, in the northern town of Afrin, the US-backed Kurdish forces that were instrumental in defeating ISIS are now under attack by America’s NATO ally, Turkey. Meanwhile, in recent weeks, an Israeli fighter jet was downed over the country and the United States reportedly killed dozens of Russian mercenaries in a bombing.
On the line with me to help put what is happening in Syria in the broader context of the trajectory of this nearly seven year old conflict is Raed Jarrar who is the Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa for Amnesty International, USA.
We kick off discussing the situation in Ghouta which is setting off international alarm bells as an ongoing mass atrocity event. We then discuss some of the broader trends of the conflict and what advocacy organizations like Amnesty are doing to keep pressure on the international community to reduce the toll this conflict is taking on civilian populations.
Overall, this conversation serves as a helpful explanation of how the Syria conflict has evolved over the last several months and where it may be heading. If you have 20 minutes and want to learn the current state of the Syria civil war and why we are entering a new phase of it, have a listen.