Beyond the Headlines: The significance of Syria’s return to the Arab League

Syria’s devastating civil war has raged for more than 12 years.

In that time, half a million people have been killed, by some estimates. Three million have been left with a disability. And half of the country have been forced from their homes, including many now living in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

The economy has collapsed and the infrastructure has been shattered — 70 per cent of the electricity system is damaged, one in three schools is in ruins and only half of hospitals are working fully. A decade of war has cost the country over a trillion dollars.

Twelve years ago, the Arab League expelled Syria. President Bashar Al Assad was accused of starting the war with a bloody crackdown on opponents of his dynastic family rule. But now, the regional body has voted to allow Syria to return.

This week on Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines Young hears from the head of the Arab League about the decision to allow Syria's return — and looks at what this means for the region and the conflict itself.

Updated: May 12, 2023, 12:32 PM