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    Syrian Refugee Crisis: A 6 Month Outlook

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    Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, millions of Syrians are forced abroad. Worsening conditions in nations like Lebanon are resulting in refugees proceeding to return to Syria when it is not safe to do so. Likewise, a cholera epidemic mixed with governments tactically exploiting aid is leading to degrading conditions for the vast majority of refugees. Recent flare-ups of violence between Hayat Tahir al-Sham (HTS) and its opponents have fractured the shaky ceasefire in place. This has resulted in any solution to the Syrian refugee crisis appearing more distant than ever.

    KJ-1: It is likely that Lebanon will continue to send Syrian refugees home because of worsening internal issues in the next 6 months.

    • Lebanon hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees despite only having a population of 4.2 million. (Source)
    • Costs of living are far higher in Lebanon and the Lebanese government will not allow the provision of refugee camps. (Source)
    • Lebanon is organising convoys to send Syrian refugees back to Syria. (Source)
    • Worsening economic conditions is leading to the refugees as being seen as a burden. (Source)
    • The Lebanese population is increasingly associating Syrian refugees with outbreaks of terrorism within Lebanon. (Source)
    • In July 2022 Lebanon announced they plan to send back 15,000 Syrians a month. (Source)
    • As of November 2022, Lebanon is without a President, resulting in a power vacuum. (Source)

    KJ-2: It is likely conditions for Syrian refugees will only worsen because of outbreaks of cholera and economic recession, resulting in host nations becoming less hospitable in the next 6 months.

    • Syria and Lebanon have both seen mass outbreaks of cholera in refugee camps with over 24,000 cases. (Source)
    • Attitudes in Turkey are worsening towards refugees as right-wing elements grow in popularity. (Source)
    • Human Rights Watch (HRW) is blaming Turkey for not ensuring water flow into the Euphrates River, worsening the Cholera epidemic. (Source)
    • Furthermore, HRW also is accusing the Syrian government of discriminatory diversion of aid to the Kurdish regions of Syria. (Source
    • The Syrian government also blocks aid from going to rebel-held areas in Syria. (Source)
    • The outbreak of the Ukraine war has overshadowed the Syrian refugee crisis to the international community. (Source)

    KJ-3: It is likely the recent escalation between the Syrian Arab Army and Hayat Tahir al-Sham (HTS) will continue to worsen conditions for Syrian refugees in the next 6 months.

    • On the 8th of November 2022, Russian Warplanes used cluster munitions on a refugee camp claiming it to be associated with HTS. (Source)
    • The Idlib region (which HTS control) is full of displaced peoples who have gathered there for safety because of the Syrian/Russian campaign. (Source)
    • The seizure of Afrin by HTS in October 2022 shattered the fragile ceasefire that was in place. (Source)
    • HTS is exploiting the poverty and living conditions of people in its occupied land in order to gain recruits. (Source)

    Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 30th of November 2022

    Aidan Hickey
    Aidan Hickey
    Aidan is a Third Year War Studies Student at King's College London with a keen interest in the Middle-East and Insurgency.

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