Guests: Reese Erlich and Sarah Leah Whitson
Now in its third year, the civil war in Syria has claimed over 100, 000 lives including civilian children and women. Estimates are that over 2 million people have left the country, living as refugees in cities and camps in Lebanon, Jordon and throughout Europe. Half of the refugees are children — under the age of 18 – who are coping with sickness, starvation and the loss of close friend or family member. Humanitarian relief (food, water and basic medical supplies) has been restricted by the Syrian government and rebel fighters. Meanwhile, fighting between pro-Assad and rebel forces has been escalating and the government missed its pledge to move the its chemical weapons out of the country by the target date of Dec. 31. In this hour of Radio Times we’ll get an update on the situation in Syria – the humanitarian crisis and the violent civil war from freelance reporter REESE ERLICH who recently returned from his sixth reporting trip there. We’ll also hear from SARAH LEAH WHITMAN, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.