What happens when the smiling young children who greeted us with "hellos" become teenagers who have grown up in the confines of Za'atari? If they see no future, they will become vulnerable to manipulation and radicalization. We have seen it before. We're about to see it again. The world must step up and act now.
The United Kingdom's search for Jihadi John, the masked, British-accented fighter who appears in videos and beheading of foreigners condemned to death by the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, has highlighted the significance for militants of soccer as a recruitment and bonding tool.
Every few days, the headquarters of the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State militias issues a communique on how the war is going. Monday's report said 27 coalition air attacks on Sunday andMonday struck nine vehicles 12 troop units, 10 fighting positions (foxholes), 10 buildings, an oil refinery, a rocket launcher, three boats and a tank, among other targets. The attacks are framed as progress in the fight against extremism and terrorism, although it's difficult to make that link in the aftermath of the violence in France. What we do know, from 13 years of painful experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, is that one-sided accounts of combat strikes don't necessarily reflect a war that's being won.
"The first thing we need to do is find a way in which we can 'freeze' the situation in Aleppo. These people have been under siege for two years. The city is very close to collapsing. If we do not do anything and the city collapses, it could fall into the hands of ISIS, which is only 20 kilometers away, and that would be an even bigger tragedy."