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The endgame of the war in Syria is likely to come down to the northwestern province of Idlib, on the Turkish border, where some 2.3 million people are now trapped. As Russian-Syrian forces now finish retaking the smaller southwestern…
A mother shows a picture of her son, who was detained by authorities in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, March 20, 2016. She has not heard any news about her son since then.
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As members of the UN Security Council debate this week about whether to renew their Syria chemical weapons investigation, they might want to read Wilfred Owen’s World War One poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” It describes an attack in which a man…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017.
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‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Time for Judicial Triage

The Raqqa Civilian Council building was full of people with complaints when I visited in July. The council, based in the Syrian town of `Ayn Issa, was set up in April to govern the areas in Raqqa province that US-backed Syrian…
Author interviewing local Tabqa residents after ISIS had been pushed out of city (July 2017).
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Iraqi forces trying to take back Mosul must learn the lessons of Manbij, where returnees face booby traps.

Twelve-year old Aqil Hammud’s legs and arms were riddled with painful scars. Bits of fragments from the improvised explosive device that exploded underneath him on that hot June day were still lodged in his sun-tanned skin. He and four…
2)	Zakia Hassan holds a photo of her son, Ibrahim Hammud, 35, who detonated an explosive device when he stepped on a mattress as he returned to his house on August 12.
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Part of the challenge with documenting the fast-moving war in Syria is that research can become outdated as soon as it’s published. For example, last Thursday, Human Rights Watch issued a new report on more than 47 cluster munition…
Mena Syria Rrussia cluster munitions 6
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It is a striking sight: Dozens of brightly burning objects light up the night, slowly descending to the ground. It looks like a magnificent display of fireworks, but the burning objects are incendiary weapons designed to destroy…
Local Civil Defence Forces extinguishing flames in tent after Syrian government forces shelling hit Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border on April 14, 2016.
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“Urban areas have become death traps for thousands of civilians,” says a new report issued by the United Nations Secretary-General ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit, which opens May 23, 2016, in Istanbul. The report describes the widespread use…
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The warring parties in Syria are to resume talks in Geneva on January 25 with the aim of ending a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and displaced millions. What will it take for the talks to succeed? In October in Vienna…
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Syrian asylum-seekers are the largest component of the latest refugee surge to Europe. Germany has been extraordinarily generous in providing a refuge. But with four million refugees having fled Syria’s daily atrocities and more waiting in the wings, we…
Relatives mourn as a man carries the body of a dead boy in a blanket at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Sheikh Khodr area in Aleppo on September 30, 2014.
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Late in the evening of 1 September, an Iraqi air force plane dropped a bomb on a school in Alam, near Tikrit, which had recently fallen under the control of Islamic State (IS). Dozens of displaced families were sheltering there. The immense explosion and…
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During a visit to Moscow last week, I was struck by how little Russians seem to know about the barrel bombs that the Syrian government uses daily to kill civilians, with devastating effect. I heard a lot of “we told you so” about how the rise of the…
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Why the world must stop Bashar al-Assad from indiscriminately raining crude barrel bombs down on Syrian civilians.

KILIS, Turkey — It had been nearly a year since I had last returned to Kilis, a Turkish town right on the border with Syria, but it was easy to see the changes: The flow of foreign journalists and international NGO workers entering Aleppo's countryside…
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For weeks, the Syrian Air Force had been bombing the Damascus suburb of Daraya. But on the morning of Nov. 16, 2012, something was different. An anti-government activist who filmed the attack told my organization, Human Rights Watch, that MiG fighter…
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Russian diplomacy has dramatically changed the trajectory of Western response to the Syria crisis and put the Kremlin at the center of international negotiations to control Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. But the Russian government’s insistence that…
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The victims have been children playing outdoors, pedestrians walking down the street, workers pressing olive oil, and even families in their homes. While the world has been focused on whether the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, the Syrian…