/ Shows / Middle East matters Issued on: 14/09/2022 – 12:13
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24 Lebanon is drawing up a controversial plan to deport thousands of Syrian refugees every month. The country is in the midst of an economic meltdown and its government says it can no longer host more than 1 million Syrians. NGOs, though, say forced deportations are illegal and that Syria is not safe for returnees. Our Beirut correspondent Serge Berberi went to meet some refugees who are weighing up the prospects of going back.
Also this week, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Qatar for the first time since a major rift between the two countries. It was back in 2017 that Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in severing diplomatic ties with Doha and imposing a blockade over its alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The blockade came to an end last January and Doha is now expected to invest billions in the Egyptian economy.
Meanwhile in Syria, there is growing evidence that the Islamic State group is gaining strength in the country’s northeast. Sleeper cells have been carrying out increasingly frequent attacks against Kurdish fighters. Our terrorism expert Wassim Nasr tells us more.
Finally, we take you to a place where the Islamic State group once had significant influence: northern Iraq. Today, five years after the fall of the “caliphate”, life is very different and tourists are even starting to return to the ancient city of Hatra, located just two hours from Mosul.