With ISIS ‘Defeated,’ Time to Talk About Human Toll of Syrian Civil War (AUDIO INTERVIEW)
After a months-long assault on the Baghouz enclave in eastern Syria, the US-backed, predominantly Kurdish-staffed Syrian Democratic Forces have announced the “liberation” of Islamic State’s final stronghold in the Middle East. The fight against ISIS has largely overshadowed other developments in Syria, perhaps foremost the ongoing humanitarian disaster as the civil war enters its ninth year.
The prewar Syrian population was estimated to be about 23 million, but entire apartment blocks – indeed, whole neighborhoods – throughout the country have been completely leveled after years of intense fighting, and so many people have been uprooted that clearly this is no longer the case.
In fact, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees pegs the number of Syrians who have been internally displaced at over 6 million and an astonishing 5.6 million for those who have fled abroad.
The Media Line discussed the human toll and some of the difficulties being encountered by aid organizations with Sara Kayyali, a Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch.