When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

In Syria, The Next War Has Already Begun

Russia, Iran and U.S. are all looking beyond the defeat of ISIS in Syria. But the little game the great powers are playing is becoming increasingly risky.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu last month in Moscow
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu last month in Moscow
Luis Lema

GENEVA — The war against ISIS is in full swing. In Mosul and in Raqqa — the terror group's respective Iraqi and Syrian strongholds — a deluge of fire that grows less and less respectful of civilian life has meant that the presence of jihadists is gradually disappearing — at least under their current organization. But already it seems, preparation for the next war has begun. The Syrian army, but also those of Russia and Iran, are now applying themselves to provoking the Americans, all of them considering that the U.S. presence in Syria like a body that must be expelled.

Virtually direct confrontations are becoming more and more frequent, though they still remain limited for now. It is in nobody's interest for such a showdown to explode. Yet, a first Syrian warplane was shot down by the Americans on Sunday, and as Tehran fired missiles for the first time to better mark its territory, we are getting a taste of the risks that come when the great powers start playing a game of chicken.

Will future historians look back at the victory over ISIS as a simple episode in a bigger war, one that had started long before and that will continue long after its destruction? Most of all, they'll need to decipher what, for now, remains an almost absolute mystery: What goals are the U.S. pursuing, and more particularly the current administration?

Much more than Iraq, Syria is hostile ground for the U.S.

While Donald Trump continues to flounder, as he has been doing since entering the White House, his Syrian ambitions seem to merely come down to the "annihilation" of ISIS as promised in last year's election campaign. A take-no-prisoners war will not only contribute to feeding tomorrow's extremists, but also forgets one fundamental fact: In Syria, far more than in Iraq, the Americans are operating on hostile territory, both in terms of diplomacy and pure violence.

Whereas everybody is already considering their next move, the U.S. president switches between inflammatory comments against Iran, short-lived retaliatory measures (such the bombing of a Syrian base in April) and a strategic void that sends shudders of fear through both the seasoned diplomatic professional and the average citizen of the world. One plane shot down here, a weapons delivery there and a great Twitter tantrum in the middle of it all. In Syria, the U.S. Army is not operating from a position of strength. Is its commander-in-chief even aware what's happening?

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

Horror films have a complicated and rich history with christian themes and influences, but how healthy is it for audiences watching?

Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

"The Nun II" was released on Sept. 2023.

Joseph Holmes

“The Nun II” has little to show for itself except for its repetitive jump scares — but could it also be a danger to your soul?

Christians have a complicated relationship with the horror genre. On the one hand, horror movies are one of the few types of Hollywood films that unapologetically treat Christianity (particularly Catholicism) as good.

“The Exorcist” remains one of the most successful and acclaimed movies of all time. More recently, “The Conjuring” franchise — about a wholesome husband and wife duo who fight demons for the Catholic Church in the 1970s and related spinoffs about the monsters they’ve fought — has more reverent references to Jesus than almost any movie I can think of in recent memory (even more than many faith-based films).

The Catholic film critic Deacon Steven Greydanus once mentioned that one of the few places where you can find substantial positive Catholic representation was inhorror films.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest