At an April 27 hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on policy options in Syria titled “After the Missile Strikes,” Charles Lister, a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute, cautioned the dais on the need to “not rush Raqqa.” On May 9, the Pentagon announced that indeed U.S. President Donald Trump intends to do just that.
Adham Sahloul is a Research Associate at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, focusing on Islamic law and human rights. He was previously working on Syria in southern Turkey as an advocacy specialist and war crimes researcher. He tweets at @AdhamSahloul; views are his own.
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On Friday, President Donald Trump set into motion the fulfillment of one of his cornerstone campaign promises—restricting the entry of refugees and immigrants for the purposes of national security. Advocates for immigrant and refugee rights (and immigrants and refugees themselves) have taken to the streets and to the media, expressing their disappointment and fear, and they have also gone to court.
On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the audience at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum that the events of August 2013—when Obama reneged on his intent to bomb Syrian military sites in response to the Ghouta Chemical Massacre—have been “misinterpreted.”
The United Nations this week said it is “deeply alarmed” by the situation in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The battle for Castello Road, which connects Aleppo to Turkey and is the key entry point into eastern Aleppo for all cross-border humanitarian aid, is one of heavy consequence.