Syria: A war about regime change or global jihad?

What started as a relatively straightforward story of political opposition seeking regime change in Syria became much more complicated. BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, the Times correspondent Martin Fletcher and Bassam Andari, head of Arabic newsgathering and planning, knew the country well. They offered some insights at an event for BBC staff on 14 March 2013.

In early 2013, two years after the uprising in Syria began, the conflict was becoming increasingly sectarian. 

David Eades, a presenter on BBC World News TV, talked to the BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, the Times correspondent Martin Fletcher and the BBC’s head of Arabic newsgathering and planning, Bassam Andari, about the issues involved in reporting the war.

Drawing on their experience from recent visits to the country, they described the extent of the humanitarian crisis in areas where there were no functioning hospitals and no international NGO presence.

The population was desperate for help and that help was often coming from those whose aim was holy war.