February 19, 2016 Issue

In Focus

No Looking Back

Bab al-Salam, Syria—Syrians wait for permission to cross a closed Turkish border on February 6. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, about 40,000 Syrians have fled a Russian-backed offensive on Aleppo that threatens to create a new humanitarian disaster. The combined forces of Russia, Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime appear to have shifted the balance on the battlefield, with government forces and allies closing in on the city’s rebel-held eastern half. Peace talks in Geneva were put on hold February 3 as the assault escalated. Whether they will restart February 25, as announced, is unclear.
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