Daily Video

February 10, 2014

Women and children evacuated from war-torn Syrian city


There was some small relief in the Syrian city of Homs over the weekend, when some of the city’s residents were evacuated during a three-day ceasefire brokered by the Russians.

Homs has been one of the main battlegrounds of the Syrian civil war, and was one of the first cities to rise up against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“We have no food at all,” said Dutch priest Frans Van der Lugt, who refuses to leave Homs, “only a little bit of wheat. We’re reaching the situation when hunger will lead not to sickness, but to death.”

Busloads of civilians were evacuated from the besieged old city upon the start of the ceasefire, but the question now is whether these Syrian troops will keep their promise to let humanitarian aid reach the people still trapped inside.

Warm up questions
  1. Where is Syria? What do you know about Syria?
  2. What is the definition of a “civil war”?
  3. How do dictators maintain power?
Discussion questions
  1. Where is Homs and what is its significance?
  2. How do you think the deal to allow some civilians to leave was brokered?
  3. Who is fighting whom in Syria?  Why?
  4. How many people have died and how many have been made refugees? Respectively, over 100,000 and over 2 million.
  5. If your class is struggling with these questions, we recommend this BBC interactive resource and/or their two-minute video summary of the Syrian conflict
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