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Syria air strikes: How we got to this point – BBC Newsbeat

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This is what Syria looks like now.

Source: Syria air strikes: How we got to this point – BBC Newsbeat

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed, including nearly 12,000 children, according to the United Nations.

More than half of the county’s population have had to leave their homes.

Four million are living as refugees in other countries.

Others soldier on…

Five Hidden Risks of U.S. Action Against the Islamic State – Syria in Crisis – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Five Hidden Risks of U.S. Action Against the Islamic State – Syria in Crisis – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s four-pronged strategy of air strikes, support to local proxies, defense against the Islamic State’s attacks through intelligence and counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance leaves many unanswered questions. It’s hardly a clear articulation of the sort of long-term, holistic strategy needed to deny the Islamic State the fertile ground it needs to thrive. The approach is fraught with trade-offs, risks, and hidden costs that need to be addressed.

  1. The focus on targeting the Islamic State’s leadership…

Bosnia’s Lessons for Syria – NYTimes.com

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Bosnia’s Lessons for Syria – NYTimes.com.

“Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, many observers have drawn parallels between Syria and Bosnia. The Geneva II talks echo efforts to resolve the conflict in the Balkans 20 years ago.

What are the lessons? If there is a general one from Bosnia for the parties meeting in Switzerland, it is the need for humility. As determined as the international community may be to resolve conflict, civil war is extraordinarily resistant to outside intervention. This has three important implications.

The first is that peace initiatives are often an unreliable lens through which to view a conflict. There is a tendency to assume that facts on the ground in places like Bosnia or Syria are primarily controlled by strategies and timetables devised by foreigners. They are not…”

Facts about Syria

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Syria Facts: 11 Things to Know About the Country We\\’re Going to Bomb

via Syria Facts: 11 Things to Know About the Country We\\\’re Going to Bomb.

On August 27, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that, should President Obama give the order, the U.S. military is ready to launch attacks on Syria. The U.S. is responding to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons outside of Damascus, which killed hundreds. Below are 11 facts about Syria to put the country’s geopolitical situation in context for Americans…

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