Mother Jones’ New Podcast Series Explores the Hidden War in Syria

Listen as Shane Bauer goes behind the lines of one of this century’s greatest tragedies.

Introducing “Behind the Lines,” a Mother Jones Podcast series featuring senior reporter Shane Bauer’s exclusive, on-the-ground reporting in Syria. A year in the making, these episodes follow Bauer as he explores an abandoned prison in the former capital of the Islamic State, hunts for clues about the devastating US-led bombing of Raqqa, and travels to a battlefront where a proxy battle between the United States and Russia is fueled by oil and gas fields. Bauer’s special investigation provides a new look at a civil war that has drawn American jihadists, anarchists, CIA agents, and special forces to a battlefield of shifting allegiances and horrific civilian casualties.

The podcast is part of a special package that includes Bauer’s in-depth report and riveting videos shot inside Syria.

Episode One: Burying Syria’s Forgotten Dead

In the bombed-out city of Raqqa, a former ISIS stronghold, forensics teams conduct the harrowing work of uncovering thousands of bodies from the rubble. The city was liberated in 2017 following an intensive four-month siege and bombardment by US-led forces that was part of President Donald Trump’s aggressive escalation of the war against ISIS in Syria. By early 2018, when Bauer visited, as much as 80 percent of the city’s buildings had been destroyed or damaged; Amnesty International called it “the most destroyed city in modern times.” Bauer follows the heartbreaking daily routine of 16 rescuers with no more lives to save. In this episode, Bauer also talks about why he embarked on this risky trip into Syria and discusses the shifting web of combatants that makes the war so difficult to comprehend.

Episode Two will arrive Wednesday, June 19, with a final installment airing Wednesday, June 26.

Listen the entire story read aloud

You can also listen to Shane Bauer’s story read aloud:

For more articles read aloud: download the Audm iPhone app.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate
Close Map

Qamishli

Tigris River

TURKEY

Rojava

Raqqa

Aleppo

DEMOCRATIC
FEDERATION OF
NORTHERN SYRIA

Deir Ezzor

Conoco gas field

SYRIA

Euphrates River

Homs

Gas and Oil fields

LEBANON

Damascus

IRAQ

ISRAEL

JORDAN

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.