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Syria: A Complicated War

Is the Syrian conflict a civil war or a war against Syria waged by militant jihadi groups?

This week, a special programme recorded in Damascus and Beirut looking at the Syrian conflict and its possible solutions. It’s a highly complex struggle. But is it right to characterise it as a civil war, a home-grown uprising to Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime – as many in the Syrian opposition view it? Or is the conflict a war against Syria, conducted by militant jihadi groups supported by Syria’s enemies – as the Assad government would like it to be seen? In Damascus, Owen Bennett Jones talks to supporters of President Assad, and in Beirut he considers the same issues with a panel of Syrian government critics.

(Photo: bereaved woman crying outside Aleppo hospital. Credit: Dan Isaacs, BBC)

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50 minutes

Last on

Sat 19 Nov 2016 04:06GMT


In Damascus:

Fares Shehabi – MP for Aleppo, businessman and president of the Syrian Federation of Chambers of Industry<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Ziad Haidar – Syrian journalist with the Lebanese newspaper As Safir

Maria Saadeh – Former MP, architect and member of Syria’s Christian community


In Aleppo:

Wissam Zarqa - a resident of eastern Aleppo and an English teacher


In Beirut:

Bassel Salloukh – Associate Professor of Political Science at the Lebanese American University in Beirut

Yara Bader – Syrian cultural journalist, normally based in Berlin

Khaled Elekhetyar – Syrian journalist who has been living in Beirut for the last five years


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