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The Syrian cage

Europe, Middle East

The Syrian cage

Modern humanitarianism is struggling to keep pace with the rapid developments in the tactics of modern conflict.

Forgotten somewhat in the shadow of the seismic fallout from Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the conflict in Syria continues to worsen. Bereft of a functioning peace process and beset on all sides by armed actors, Syria’s civilian population faces the further challenge of being increasingly trapped in the centre of a deadly storm. They can’t travel south. In late June, following an attack on their forces, Jordan declared its border region with Syria a closed military zone, while announcing that no additional refugee camps would be built or expanded. A humanitarian disaster is on the horizon as no food and little water has reached some 64,000 Syrian refugees stuck on the border. Speaking at a recent conference on migration, Professor Dawn Chatty of the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre described Jordan as “preventing Syrians from coming into the country and deporting people back”. Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said the country’s security outweighed humanitarian concerns.

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