Syria, United States, New York Times discussed on The Takeaway


Hubbard is with me, he's the Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times, Ben stick with We just heard about an ISIS claimed suicide attack in the city of min Bish, but ISIS isn't the only threat to life in Syria today, at least eight children most of them. Infants died in the last month in a refugee camp called rook Bon that's according to a report out earlier this week from the United Nations an additional seven children most of them under one year old died while fleeing conflict in Deir ez-zor. Ben Hubbard the Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times is with me, then we've seen images of the devastation, particularly how it affects children your colleague. Tyler Hicks has done amazing work around this. But this humanitarian crisis is just doesn't seem to have an end what are the sorts of conditions in robot right now. Well, I think we're kinda start with the larger humanitarian crisis going in Syria. I mean, the conflict that's been going on there since two thousand eleven has displaced about house of serious population. I mean half of the population of Syria has been moved somewhere else. I mean, millions of these people have become refugees outside the country. Most of them scattered around the neighboring countries Lebanon where I am Jordan Turkey. They have all have large reputation populations. Obviously we had waves of refugees going to Europe on the boats, but the largest number actually people who are displaced inside of Syria. So they've left one part of the country where there's fighting there's violence, or there's destruction then had gone to another place thinking that either trying to go another place that was safe or in the case of groupon. They were trying to get into a neighboring country and the borders got shot. So a lot of the, you know, the neighboring countries of Syria have for the most part shut their borders to new refugees because they feel that they have too many, and they they don't wanna take it anymore. So rooke van is a place where tens of thousands of refugees who were hoping to get into Jordan ended up, and it's this very isolated place. Kind of a desert camp conditions there in the best of times are quite miserable. It's been difficult at times for aid organizations to get in there, and and provide assistance and then over the last number of weeks and the region here, we've had some pretty exceptional winter weather. There's been huge huge storms rainstorms at some of the higher altitudes, we've had snow, and so it's really made life miserable. For a lot of the refugees around the region boasts in the neighboring countries end inside of Syria. You know, that's so that's the larger context of this report that we had this week from the UN saying that there were eight children who had died in rook band. And then they also had reports that there were seven more children who had died elsewhere in Syria who have been displaced the United Nations also reported that ten thousand people have fled violence in Deir ez-zor since December. Ben those seven children that died while trying to get out. What was the situation like there? We don't know very much. I mean, other than that that this this, you know, it's the conditions for these people even in the best of times are very very dire. I mean, these are people who are leaving oftentimes. Very quickly. A lot of times people who are displaced in Syria have not just been displaced once but have been displaced multiple times over the last five years. So sometimes you'll meet refugee families who have lived in five six seven eight different places. And so we don't know the specific cases of these families or these deaths, but you know, these are very very dire situations that they're in. And then you know, when it's when their situation is that tenuous, and then all of a sudden, you have incredibly inclement weather come along, whether it's freezing temperatures or serious rain things like that. You know, then it it just makes life that Machar for the most vulnerable who are going to be the children's in the children, and the is they're concerned that the situation could get worse by if the US withdraws its troops. It's a bit hard to know. I think part of the problem part of the part of the difficulty of knowing how a US withdraw would affect the people in this region is that we don't know exactly who would come in and fill the void. We now have a situation where the US effectively the protector of about. Between a quarter and one third of serious territory, and you have local groups on the ground who are doing local security and governance and things like that. But you have the Turks to the north who are I in this territory, you have the Syrian government to the west territory, and they've got Russia and Iran working with them. And they're looking at it you still have jihadists underground. And so in a way, the US is there is a kind of placeholder, and if the US does decide to withdraw it's very unclear who's going gonna act I how they're going to act. So, you know, there's a lot of people in the region worry that if the US does pull out in a very quick way without sort of finding some way to do a handover of these. Territories that it could lead to all kinds of other instability, another that is going to be good for the displaced. Ben Hubbard is the Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times. Ben, thank you. Thank you..

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