The Blog

Syria in Free Fall

11:16 AM, Mar 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Anne Barnard of the New York Times writes that:

Day after day, the Syrian civil war has ground down a cultural and political center of the Middle East, turning it into a stage for disaster and cruelty on a nearly incomprehensible scale. Families are brutalized by their government and by jihadists claiming to be their saviors as nearly half of Syrians - many of them children - have been driven from their homes. At the start of the fourth year since Syrians rose up in a peaceful movement that turned to arms after violent repression, a snapshot of the country presents the harsh truth that Syria's descent is only accelerating, with nothing to check it.

The situation is, if anything, made worse by the situation in Crimea and the Ukraine and

Even as Syria’s epic suffering is remaking the human geography of the Middle East and beyond, initiatives to ease the crisis have sputtered and failed to offer effective help. Already tenuous hopes for an internationally brokered peace settlement have further faded as Russian-American relations worsen.

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