Friday Brief

Four Million Syrians Have Fled Since Onset Of War
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner for Refugees released a report showing that the exodus of refugees from the war in Syria has surpassed the 4 million mark making it the largest refugee crisis in almost a quarter of a century.

“This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” lamented UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “It is a population that deserves the support of the world but is instead living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into abject poverty.”


The reality that a solution to the war is not on the horizon, Syria’s neighbors, particularly Turkey, are concerned about an increasing flood of refugees entering Europe.

“Turkey has reached its total capacity for refugees. Now, there is talk that a new wave of refugees may emerge. That would exceed Turkey’s (capacity), and it would put the EU face to face with more migrants,” Turkey’s European Union affairs minister Volkan Bozkir said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Most of the refugees are in Turkey (1.8 million), followed by Lebanon (1.2 million), Jordan (629,000), Iraq (250,000) and Egypt (132,000), reports the UNHCR.

The Role Of Religion In Regional Politics
The Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) examined the extent to which religion is a driver behind the rise of violent extremism and sectarianism in regional politics.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Stephen Hadley, former assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for George W. Bush, discussed how people in the region can harness the uplifting and unifying potential of faith, while containing its capacity to divide.

Note: The event is approximately one hour and 45 minutes.

Future Of Middle East Discussed At Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival
Former General David Petraeus was interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas Festival about the Iran nuclear agreement and the future of the Middle East.

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