Opportunities for Foreign Policy: Assad’s New Syria

Dr. Zaki Lababidi

President, Syrian American Council

Charles Lister

Sn. Fellow/Dir., Syria & Countering Terrorism, MEI

Thomas McClure

Founding Mbr./Researcher, Rojava Information Ctr.

Maryam Zar (moderator)

Founder, Womenfound & LAWACTH Member

July 7, 2020 11:00 AM    Webinar

Add to Calendar 07/07/2020 11:00 AM 07/07/2020 1:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Webinar: Opportunities for Foreign Policy: Assad’s New Syria see details at: www.lawac.org : , , Los Angeles World Affairs Council reservations@lawac.org false MM/DD/YYYY

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On June 17th, the United States’ “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” went into effect, imposing sanctions on specific members of the Assad regime as well as those involved with or supporting the Assad regime. The sanctions come at a time when Syria’s economy is tattered, and while Assad has consolidated power, his effectiveness as a leader is in question. As the pitch battles of the last nine years fade, Syria remains mired in hyperinflation, massive business closures, widespread food shortages and severe unemployment along with lingering conflict in pockets of resistance. At least 85 percent of Syrians currently live in poverty due to displacement and economic collapse. Syrians also face the rising threat of COVID-19, for which the health care infrastructure is not at all prepared, especially given years of bombing raids targeting hospitals. These intersecting threats — population displacement, economic collapse and the threat of pandemic — have created a wave of no-confidence for the Assad regime among new populations. Recent sanctions are said to “promote accountability for the regime’s atrocities.” This may be music to many ears — but the Assad regime and its alliance with Russia and Iran remains a complex reality for US foreign policy and we will ask, does the convergence of new challenges present an opportunity for a more effective Syria policy? 

The panel will host Senior Fellow and Director of the Countering Terrorism and Extremism Programs at the Middle East Institute with a focus on Syria, Charles Lister; President of Syrian American Council and Syrian Americans Medical Society board member (SAMS), Dr. Zaki Lababidi; and founding member and researcher with the Rojava Information Center—the leading independent news source on the ground in North and East Syria—Thomas McClure. The discussion will be moderated by Maryam Zar, founder of Womenfound and former Middle East Correspondent. The panelists will highlight on-the-ground analysis of Syria’s economic collapse, coronavirus response, and issues of displacement, while also uplifting the policy strategies that could move things forward.


** A note to our LAWACTH Members: Please submit your questions in advance via email to kshabanava@lawac.org to ensure your questions are answered by our speakers. 

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