by adam rasmi in


(Courtesy Patrick Cardinal)

(Courtesy Patrick Cardinal)

IT HAS BEEN a busy few months for the six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets tasked with bombing the Islamic State. On January 2, more airstrikes were launched than on any single day since June, which followed a month where more combat missions were flown than in any other month since July. These are curious developments for a Liberal government that vowed to end Canada’s participation in the coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau never promised a specific timetable for withdrawal during the election, the gist was that Operation Impact would end soon. But nearly three months into office, Canadian air sorties are continuing—and recently at a more frequent pace than before.

. . . 

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by adam rasmi in


Syrian refugee children participate in a religion class. Photographed in the Ketermaya informal tented settlement (ITS), outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. (Courtesy Dominic Chavez/World Bank)

Syrian refugee children participate in a religion class. Photographed in the Ketermaya informal tented settlement (ITS), outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. (Courtesy Dominic Chavez/World Bank)

THIS PAST SUMMER, at one of Beirut’s many trendy rooftop bars, I met an undocumented Syrian NGO worker named Hani. Since Syria began unravelling in 2011, its people have fled in many directions, and for all sorts of reasons related to the war. In Hani’s case, it was because he feared arrest for his opposition to the Assad regime.

According to Hani, he set out for Lebanon early one morning in August 2012, traversing the mountainous Syrian-Lebanese border. Hani had walked for five or six hours until arriving at a pre-arranged meeting place, where a car was waiting for him.

. . .

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