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Turkish troops secure the Bursayah hill, which separates the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin from the Turkey-controlled town of Azaz, Syria, Jan. 28, 2018 (AP photo).

What Syria Reveals About the Future of War

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Week by week, month by month, the horrific war in Syria grinds on, killing combatants from many countries and, most tragic of all, Syrian civilians—the unintended or, in many cases, intended victims of the warring parties. As Liz Sly and Loveday Morris wrote recently in The Washington Post, “A war that began with peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad is rapidly descending into a global scramble for control over what remains of the broken country of Syria, risking a wider conflict. Under skies crowded by the warplanes of half a dozen countries, an assortment of factions backed by rival powers are battling one another in a dizzying array of combinations.”

It’s easy to look at the Syrian war as uniquely horrible, the catastrophic result of geography, Assad’s craven brutality, the spread of jihadism and its malignant ideology, and foreign intervention. But in reality Syria is emblematic, a frightening window into the future of war. ...

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