The NATO Council’s Alexander Corbeil, Senior Middle East Analyst sat down with CTV News on March 8 to discuss the Syrian refugee issue. The United Nations has described the refugee crisis, now at a million Syrians as disastrous. In January 2012 there were roughly 33,000 refugees, a number which has drastically increased with fighting in Damascus and the hinterland of the country.
Within Syria, Alexander took a look at the fall of the provincial capital of Ar Raqqa and what this means for the balance of power in the country. Issues discussed on a regional basis included spillover to neighbouring countries, including; Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, both in terms of refugees and the security situation.
Externally, Alexander took a look at the United Nations estimates of the refugee crisis and the effects on the stability of neighbouring countries. In particular the political divide within Lebanon, between the Hezbollah dominated government and the opposition March 14 coalition, headed by the Sunni-based Future Movement. The Arab League’s statements that members may supply the rebels with weapons and monetary funds was also discussed. While Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been supplying the rebels on a large scale since last year, Alexander brought up the fact that it has been recently uncovered that Croatian anti-tank missiles have made their way into the hands of the Syrian opposition. In addition, the organization’s willingness to allow Syria to be represented by the opposition Syrian National Coalition within its chamber was discussed as a important development.
To see the interview, please click on the picture below: