Articles on Syria

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Rules imposed after the 9/11 attacks can obstruct aid to Somalia’s internally displaced people. Omar Abdisalan/AMISOM Photo

Anti-terror rules are blocking aid to conflict zones

Rules imposed after 9/11 and still on the books are getting in the way of delivering aid to conflict zones. In countries like Yemen and Syria, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Syrian Christians and Muslims offer prayers for nuns held by rebels, at the Greek Orthodox Mariamiya Church in Damascus, Syria, in 2013. AP Photo

Syria’s forgotten pluralism and why it matters today

For many centuries, Syrian society has included people of many faiths – Sunni and Shi'i Muslims, Christians and Druze. This past is important to know to understand the present.
Syrian doctors treat a child following a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. Edlib Media Center, via AP, File

How much power can an image actually wield?

Will recent photos of chemical attack victims in Syria provoke a short-term emotional reaction or a sustained humanitarian campaign?
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson head to a meeting in Moscow. Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Syria is a mess, but the solution is complicated too

What vastly complicates Western policy in Syria is how to sanction Assad on one hand and deal with Islamic State on the other, without the country unravelling completely.
The future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reign lies with Vladimir Putin’s obstinacy and ability to withstand US pressure. Reuters/Omar Sanadiki

Explainer: the war in Syria and the possibility of removing Assad

To understand the complexities of the conflict in Syria and what might happen next, it helps to untangle the three layers of strife in the war-torn country.
Syrian children, first aiders and civil defence volunteers showing their support of victims in the recent alleged chemical attack in Syria. Mohammed Badra/EPL

What we know about the April 4 chemical attack in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Team has not yet revealed the nature of the chemicals used in Khan Sheikhoun.
Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second. Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T rcsb.org

Enzymes versus nerve agents: Designing antidotes for chemical weapons

Scientists invented chemical weapons; some are now working to destroy them. New biomolecular design techniques let researchers design proteins that can destroy nerve agents in bodies.
President Donald Trump after speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Strikes against Syria: Did Trump need permission from Congress?

Are Trump’s missile strikes against Syria constitutional? An expert on Congress and foreign policy provides a brief history of how the separation of war powers has blurred over time.
Cruise missile strike against Syria on April 7, 2017. U.S. Navy/via AP

US airstrike on Syria: What next?

Was this a one-off intervention – or a sign that Trump will undertake more of an effort to undermine the Assad regime?
Trump boards Air Force One on April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trump’s attack on Syria: Four takeaways

'America First' apparently doesn't mean a step away from playing the world's policeman – and three more things to note about U.S. airstrikes on Syria.

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