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After nearly a decade of conflict, the extensive damage inflicted on Syria’s environment is emerging as another devastating, if less visible, tragedy of its civil war. Polluted soil and contaminated water are exacerbating the already severe suffering of Syrian civilians, undermining their ability to meet their basic needs and jeopardizing the country’s postwar future. While the war in Syria is far from over, the steep environmental toll will pose significant challenges to the country’s recovery when the fighting does eventually stop. Syrian and international experts are warning that the environmental impacts of war must be addressed with urgency—or the damage [...]
A poster of Syrian President Bashar Assad with Arabic that reads, "Congratulations victory," at the border crossing between the Iraqi town of Qaim and Boukamal, Syria, Sept. 30, 2019 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Managing Editor Frederick Deknatel highlights a major unfolding story in the Middle East, while curating some of the best news and analysis from the region. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Middle East Memo by email every week. The images are shocking, but they aren’t new. The photographs of tortured, emaciated and brutalized prisoners and detainees—some of their bodies wrapped in plastic, others dumped on the ground, but all of them catalogued with sinister precision—are a reminder of the horrors of Syria’s civil war. Broadcast by CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday night, they are, [...]
A Trump flag left behind by his supporters following the riot at the Capitol, Washington, Jan. 6, 2021 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).
Editor’s Note: Middle East Memo will be off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week. It will return Jan. 25. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Middle East Memo by email every week. When President Donald Trump’s radical supporters stormed the Capitol building last week, attacking police and rampaging through the halls of Congress, hunting for lawmakers, many American news networks were quick to make breathless comparisons to somewhere else. This wasn’t Washington, they intimated; it was more like a scene out of Baghdad, or Beirut. Van Jones, the former Obama administration official who is now a [...]
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