I keep being asked one question about Syria

‘Is there still a war on?’ People are dying. Areas are being bombed. The only difference is that no one cares, writes Bel Trew

Tuesday 29 November 2022 12:16 GMT
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The country is now carved up into three fiefdoms of influence, with Syrian factions beholden to different stakeholders
The country is now carved up into three fiefdoms of influence, with Syrian factions beholden to different stakeholders (AFP via Getty)

The most common question I’m asked about Syria these days is “But is there still a war there?” For years, the conflict-ravaged Middle Eastern country dominated the news cycle. The story opened in 2011 with a tantalising explosion of hope and determination in the uprising against the bloody regime of Bashar al-Assad, which matched similar waves of protests in the region.

The revolution disintegrated into a complicated proxy war that sparked what remains the largest humanitarian and development crisis in the world, even if Ukraine is catching up.

Fast-forward more than a decade, and that conflict still grinds on. At least 350,200 people are dead, according to the United Nations’ latest count, although UN officials acknowledge this is a significant undercount of the number of killings. More than 13 million Syrians are displaced either inside or outside the country.

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