The vultures have already begun to circle around Syria for the contracts to reconstruct the country.
For the past six years, ‘Syria’ had come to refer to war and the refugee crisis. News about Syria rushed onto the front pages. The devastation of the country seized the imagination of people across the world. What was this war about? How could a country – seemingly stable – fall so quickly into the vortex of chaos? What about the millions of Syrians who were so hastily removed from their homes, hiding with family members inside Syria or rushing outside to refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey?
All that is now changed. There is so little concern with the war in Syria, with the peace negotiations and with the refugee crisis. Few news outlets regularly carry news of the ongoing crisis. There is some interest in the callous ‘Muslim Ban’ of the Trump administration. There has been an 83% drop in refugee admissions into the United States, with Syrian refugees virtually banned from entry into the country. Of the migrants that Trump’s administration has allowed in since October, 60% are Christian. This ‘Muslim Ban’ remains in the news, but not the specific problem of the Syrians who have fled their country.
Russian president Vladimir Putin recently declared that the war against ISIS has ended on both sides of the Euphrates River. Raqqa, the city that ISIS had made its capital, remains destroyed, with tens of thousands of unexploded bombs across the city. Turkey’s president – Erdogan – has said that the ISIS fighters have been evacuated to the Sinai Desert in Egypt, although Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa says that the ISIS fighters have now fled into Libya. The problems posed by ISIS have been exported from northern Syria to northern Africa.