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America, Russia and Israel Are in Sync About Objectives in the Aftermath of the Syrian Civil War

3yrs ago from Washington Times
The Trump-Putin summit came at a highly propitious time, with respect to the Syrian civil war that is now in its final stage. Statements by both leaders reflect not only a common understanding of the problems in Syria that lie ahead but the reality that this is an area where both leaders have been engaged with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on the need to ensure Israeli security as well as the refugee problem and a need to eliminate ISIS and other radical terrorists in the area.
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[Monday Gallery ] | Drawing of Kos Island, Greece, by Olivier Kugler

3yrs ago from Harpers
Drawing of Kos island, Greece, by Olivier Kugler, from his book Escaping Wars and Waves, published in June by Penn State University Press. An exhibition of drawings from the book, which document the circumstances of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, Greece, England, and Germany, is on view at the Print House Gallery, in London. Excerpts from the book were published in the March 2014, February 2016, and August 2017 issues of Harper’s Magazine.
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Syria’s Civil War, the Final Stage

3yrs ago from Washington Times
After seven years of horrible death and refugee displacement the Syrian civil war is entering a final stage with little doubt as to the outcome. Bashar Assad is certain to remain in power and the only open questions are what foreign forces will remain in Syria and what parts of Syrian territory will be lost. As the war winds down, the U.S. as well as Israel and Russia all have key roles to play that need to be based on national interest and reality.
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For the First Time Since 1951, an American Won’t Lead the United Nations’ Migration Agency

3yrs ago from The Week
The Trump administration's candidate to head the United Nations' migration agency has been rejected in a blow to the United States, which has held the post since 1951. "The American is out," Senegalese diplomat Youssoupha Ndiaye told The Associated Press after voting in Geneva. The American candidate, Ken Isaacs, is the vice president of an evangelical charity, with his only relevant experience being a short stint as a political appointee in charge of overseas disaster relief under former President George W. Bush. Isaacs' candidacy was called into question after his old tweets surfaced, containing messages calling Muslims violent and insisting that "Christians" be the "first priority" when it came to the Syrian refugee crisis. The race to lead the migration agency is now between Portuguese Socialist Party member Antonio Vitorino and Costa Rica's Laura Thompson, the deputy director-general of the International Organization for Migration. "The person who leads this needs to be a symbol of the international community's support for humanity," the president of Refugees International, Eric Schwartz, told The Washington Post. "And that means that dark-skin people and Muslim people have the same inherent worth as any other people." Jeva Lange
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Fighting in Syria Heats Up as Russian-Backed Airstrikes Shut Down 3 Hospitals, Displace 50,000

3yrs ago from The Week
Fighting in Syria is escalating once again, with government forces setting their sights on rebel-held areas near the country's border with Jordan. Overnight air strikes have shut down three hospitals near the southwestern city of Deraa, BBC reports. This is the Russian-backed government's latest attack in an offensive push launched last week, which has already displaced nearly 50,000 people. Deraa, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-held Golan Heights, is one area where Syria's government has lost ground since its civil war began, AFP says. The war did calm down in the past year after Iran, Russia, and Turkey ironed out a deal to cease fighting between Syria and rebel forces, per Al Jazeera. But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military has recently ramped up attacks to regain lost territory. Around 50,000 people have left their Deraa-area homes for nearby countries, says the United Nations. But it's unclear where they'll go, as Jordan recently announced it won't take in these new refugees, per AFP. This displaced population will add to the nearly 5 million refugees who have left Syria since its war began in 2011, along with another 6 million displaced inside the country. Kathryn Krawczyk
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Nearly 1 Million Syrians Are Newly Suffering Internal Displacement, a New Record

3yrs ago from The Week
"We are seeing a massive displacement inside Syria," Panos Moumtzis, the United Nations regional coordinator for Syria, said Monday. "From January to April, there were over 920,000 newly displaced people," he continued. "This was the highest displacement in that short period of time we have seen since the conflict started." This new wave of internal displacement brings the total refugee population inside Syria to about 6.2 million, while another 5.6 million Syrians are refugees outside their country's borders. The last widely accepted death toll estimate was 470,000 killed in the conflict as of 2016; subsequent estimates put it as high as 511,000 and as low as 188,000. Syria's total population in 2010, before the civil war began, was about 20 million. Moumtzis highlighted recent escalation in fighting and airstrikes in and near the city of Idlib as particular cause for concern. Idlib is supposed to be a de-escalation zone, and it is already serving as a temporary home to civilians displaced from Aleppo. For those living in Idlib now, "there is no other Idlib to take them out to," Moumtzis said. "Really, this is the last location. There is no other location to further move them." Bonnie Kristian
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