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August 31, 2016

The Intensifying War in Syria - How is the Media Covering It?


The Daily Mail on Aug. 30, 2016 carried a large detailed expose of Iran's "covert war" in Syria.

The article describes a not so hidden escalation of Iranian involvement in Syria. According to the Daily Mail, Iran now directly commands 60,000 Shia troops from its headquarters in Damascus. In addition, the dwindling Syrian army still possesses 50,000 troops.

The article also calculates that Iran has spent $100 billion in the Syrian war since 2011. This is considerably higher than Western estimates of $15 billion.

The Daily Mail piece comes on top of significant recent developments. Fighting in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, continues. In the north,Turkey has launched ground operations against the Kurds. Turkey's actions pits it against the United States, which now supports the Kurds. This despite the fact that both the United States and Turkey are NATO members.

It was recently reported that Russia has also begun to send in ground troops.

In the Southwest front, a realignment is underway, where American-backed "moderate" insurgents have joined with ISIS fighters in an offensive against Syrian and Shiite forces.

There are no accurate casualty figures, but the reporting points to an intensification of the fighting.

Coverage of the war has suffered because it is such a dangerous place journalists don't dare to venture there anymore. The Internet site, Syria Deeply, has a piece on this problem of coverage noting that there are fewer journalist deaths in Syria recently because there aren't many left. An Internet site, SyriaDirect, provides human interest stories. These and other websites provide more continuous and expansive coverage than the traditional mainstream news sources.

There are websites that focus on specific groups. The Kurds have several internet newspapers following events and life in Kurdistan.

It would be interesting to find out what Americans know about the conflict in Syria. A Gallup poll in February, 2016 found that 80 percent of Americans view Syria unfavorably. But what does that even mean? Syria is a fractured country. Americans were evenly divided on what to do. A third favored increased involvement, a third favored less involvement and a third thought American involvement was just right.

Posted by SS at August 31, 2016 12:25 PM


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