The Syria crisis has dominated our ‘Middle East Analysis’ podcasts with monotonous and depressing regularity in recent years.
The country is in a perpetual state of crisis with President Assad’s regime battling what it calls ‘terrorists’. Rebels fight against the regime. Terror groups, like ISIL, maintain strongholds and fight anyone who disagrees with their ideologies.
All this is played out in front of a seemingly paralysed international community.
Who suffers? It is, of course, the people of Syria. Sitting in the middle of the fighting just trying to live a ‘normal’ life – normality is clearly something that has been radically redefined in the last 50 months.
We’re joined by the Bishops’ consultant on the Middle East North Africa region, Dr Harry Hagopian, to discuss an air attack in Douma, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, that according to reports resulted in over 100 civilian casualties.
Our second talking point concentrates on new anti-terror laws brought in by President al-Sisi in Egypt. A necessary measure or legislation that threatens human rights and the ability of journalists to report freely?
The third topic sees us shift to the Cremisan Valley where just a few months ago, Israeli government plans to extend the separation wall through the Palestinian valley were ruled to have “violated the rights” of the people of Beit Jala. Now Israel has resumed construction of the controversial section of wall.
All this and Dr Hagopian’s final thought on a beleaguered Lebanon.