The Century Foundation: “Syrian Jihadists Jeopardize Humanitarian Relief”

New from me for The Century Foundation, on the latest challenge to humanitarian assistance for civilians in Syria’s rebel-held northwest:

“Syrian Jihadists Jeopardize Humanitarian Relief”

Since the beginning of the year, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – the latest iteration of former Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusrah – has stepped up its attempts to intervene in assistance in ways that have already complicated aid efforts. Now the group’s declared intention to bring the northwest’s currency exchange and money transfer offices under its supervision has set off alarm bells among humanitarians, who depend on informal “hawalah” transfers to operate inside Syria.

Hundreds of thousands civilians depend on a relief regime for which the space is constricting in Turkey and – now, thanks to Tahrir al-Sham’s more overt interference – inside Syria, too.

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