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News out of Syria may have faded into the background lately, but fear not because Jon Stewart is here with an update on what he calls, “the spinach of world news.” Unfortunately, though, things are kind of a mess in Syria.

Stewart breaks it down: “How bad have things gotten in Syria? More than 2 million refugees have fled the country, Homs still under aerial bombardment after more than a year, children are suffering, historical sites pounded into rubble.”

And on top of all that, the Syrian government just missed the latest deadline in the disposal of its arsenal of chemical weapons. While somewhere around 90 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons were supposed to have been turned over by now, only 5 percent actually have. In other words, conditions in Syria are bleak.

But don’t worry, Stewart says. “The world is finally getting together … we’re coming up on round two of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva.” How did round one go? Just ask Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Special Envoy to Syria: “In Homs, we haven’t been able to do anything.”

Oh, right. But what of the “prisoners, the kidnapped people, the disappeared people?” Stewart asks. Some progress has to have been made, right? “And about prisoners, kidnapped people, disappeared people … again, we haven’t been able to do anything,” Brahimi said. Great.

That’s not even the worst of it though. Now al-Qaeda has dissolved its ties with extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, because ISIS is too extreme.

“How big of an asshole do you have to be, before Ayman al-Zawahiri, the commander of al-Qaeda, Bin Laden’s former right hand man, goes ‘I can’t work with these guys, these guys are maniacs’?” Stewart asks. Apparently, when “the violent insurgents al-Qaeda chose to work with in Syria went all violent insurgent,” al-Qaeda had to draw the line.

So yea, things in Syria are pretty lousy. Hopefully there’s better news next time Stewart decides to check in. 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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