Far from winding down, Syria's civil war seems to be worsening by the day, if not by the hour. What began as a peaceful uprising against Bashar al-Assad 33 months ago has become a gruelling war of attrition. It's a war waged on a battlefield that is becoming a magnet for jihadists from across the Middle East. Douglas Herbert discusses the situation with Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation who recently returned from Syria.
EU policy expert Thomas Klau argues that Europe missed a big opportunity by not offering Ukraine a firm prospect of EU membership. He suggests that it’s still not too late for such a move, but that right now might not be the ideal time.
The UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo has started to deploy unarmed surveillance drones to monitor rebel activity near the volatile border with Rwanda and Uganda. This is the first time any UN mission has deployed drones. To find out more, Jessica Le Masurier speaks to Hervé Ladsous, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
Russia is a central player on a number of key issues in the Middle East. Moscow’s support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and its determination to soften sanctions on Tehran have often forced the West to take a step back. So just what is Moscow up to? Veniamin Popov, a former Russian ambassador, gives Marc Perelman his insight into Putin’s high-stakes diplomatic moves.
One of the most iconic images to emerge from the Arab Spring was that of women taking to the streets, demanding a new political system. But three years on, that picture has changed. If anything, the rise of political Islam has resulted in the rollback of women’s rights.