Thirteen million people are in desperate need across the country as its intersecting conflicts burn – but who will help?
After seven years of carnage, at the cost of half a million lives, the violence in Syria is not dwindling but multiplying. The mighty pursue power, territory and resources, while civilians pay in blood. The United Nations warns of unprecedented levels of suffering in a country that has already witnessed so many crimes and such desperation. Its calls for a ceasefire are ignored.
The disintegration of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate has thrown these overlapping wars into sharper relief. The IS threat is not over, despite high-profile captures. Its fighters will do their best to continue their butchery in the region and further afield. But as the focus shifts, other conflicts are enmeshing and intensifying, as this week has shown. On Thursday alone, more than 100 pro-regime fighters were killed by American forces repelling an assault on a US-controlled base in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor – while in eastern Ghouta, which has already suffered so much at the hands of Bashar al-Assad, 59 civilians, including 15 children, died on the same day.