On the ground, no one knows how large-scale reconstruction will eventually happen or even when it will start. With no clear economic or political view of the future, refugees might not be tempted to return home. Reconstruction has already become so political, even before the war has ended, that a solution to the issue might take years to be found.
Results for Tag: Bashar al-Assad
There’s a simple explanation for how the American far-right became curiously infatuated with the Arab totalitarian leader: Their hearts were won over by the Assad family’s years-old propaganda campaign at home in Syria. Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power. American neo-Nazis see Assad as a hero.
Local and international human rights organizations have documented the inhumane conditions in Syrian detention facilities, and testimonies from the prisoners who managed to be released focused on the torture they faced inside. Prisons are overcrowded and unsanitary. Detainees are given inadequate food and sometimes starved, and suffer from medical neglect. Torture is routinely and systematically implemented, on a very large scale. Women, and men, have suffered rape and sexual abuse.
Aside from this smear campaign, the White Helmets have also been the victims of more direct action. This has included the bombing of several of their hospitals and, most unambiguously, a midnight raid on one of their safe houses in August 2017 in which seven of the volunteers were executed by assassins still unknown.
Trump’s policy is pushing Iran towards Russia. In order to preserve its position in the region, Iran knows that it needs international allies and backing. Russia, therefore, is an important international actor that can balance the US, which is backing Iran’s rivals in the region. According to Khamenei’s adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, “Iran-Russia relations are strategic and will determine the future of the region.” Trump’s policy is only strengthening this view and hastening Iran’s shift towards Russia and the East in general.
Neither Iran nor Hezbollah has ever deterred or even spoke about deterring Israel on behalf of Syria. Therefore, while Israel is focusing on degrading the ‘axis of resistance’ threat on its Syrian border, its adversaries are drawing red lines that once crossed could lead to an all-out war. The risk of this happening can be contained if both parties at least agree not to cross the other’s red lines. But if the situation escalates, as the recent case of south-western Syria suggests it might, international mediation – like the Russian one – will be needed to prevent a war.
Following the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, he claimed that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for creating the radical jihadist al-Nusra Front. However, he remains politically active, despite confirming Taymour as his political heir in March 2017. For example, he blamed Saudi Arabia for the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in November 2017.
Whenever the war comes to an end, this challenge will become particularly difficult to manage. The shabiha will not disappear once their military purpose has ended. Instead, they will likely linger as organized crime groups, further eating away at the state’s legitimacy and slowing the country’s economic and social recovery.