Mindful questions on the conflict in Syria

How to cite this journal: Author, Date of the post, WMO Conflict Insight, Title of the post, ISSN:
2628-6998, https://worldmediation.org/journal/

The war began in 2011 when the public was protesting wrongful, and torture in the country, President Bashar Al-Assad reacted by imprisoning of more people and killing hundreds of them. That led to the formation of a rebel group known as the Free Syrian Army to oust the authoritative regime in July 2011 (BBC News, 2019). The Middle East countries like Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are against such acts, thus support the opposition while Iran supports the president and has supplied soldiers to reinforce the government forces. Besides, it has emerged as a backyard for international intervention where the US backs the rebels as Russia supports the government. That has even escalated the war leading to the displacement of several people from the country. 

When ISIS joined the rebels to fight against the President, the US reacted by training a section of the rebels to fight the Islamic States in Iraq rather than fighting the authoritative president.  For that matter, the president has applied chemical weapons to kill civilians as the US intervene using airstrikes (Bijlani, 2017). The united nations have accused both the opposition and the government of committing human crimes such as manslaughter, rape, and torture besides preventing access to essentials of life like water, food, and healthcare. The latest chemical attack occurred in July 2018 in Douma where 40 people died and several others injured. Several others died later due to suffocation and injuries (BBC News, 2018). Currently, the war has existed more than World War II. 

Status Quo

Currently, more than half the population of Syria has fled to seek refuge in neighboring countries like Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Lebanon, which is around 6.5 million. The number makes Syria the most massive humanitarian catastrophe. More than six million people are trapped in Syria amidst the escalating war despite the international agreement to minimize the intensity of such war (UNHCR, 2019). Humanitarian access to the country is very minimal due to the high level of insecurity in the country, leaving about 2.9 million people in remote areas without any aid. Most of the people affected by diversity are children.

Recently, northwest Syria experienced military escalation where the Russian and Syrian regime initiated a deadly campaign of the bombardment of parts of Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama Provinces after an attack of certain groups formerly linked to Al Qaeda. Various agreements to establish demilitarized regions in the country have been violated and talks about creating security zones failed. Most of the countries like the USA, Russia, and Turkey participating in reducing the war in Syria have conflicting interests making their talks about creating secured zones in eth country futile. 

Mindful Questions

The Syrian war is in its 9th year without a basic understanding of the leading cause of war in Syria. As a result, several questions emerge. First, what is the leading cause of war in Syria? Is it a dictatorship from President Bashar Al-Assad or is it a battleground for the different international countries for supremacy, US and Russia? The US supports the rebellion regime, and Russia supports the government towards ending the war. For this matter, is the international community in a consensus to end this war soon? 

When the United States began their support, they were against the authoritative government and wanted justice for the aggrieved parties. Later on, the Islamic States in Iraq joined together with the rebel group to fight the ousting of the president. However, the US government changed its aim and began fighting ISIS, which was also in the same course in their country (Bijlani, 2017). So far, their fight to remove the dictator from power has reduced and intensified their fight against ISIS. What is the main interest of the US in the Syrian war? The President who has committed humanitarian crime sabotage or elimination of the ISIS who are also in the course of toppling that lousy government? Can the US government cooperate with ISIS since Syria is an Islamic state to fight for justice for the tortured, brutalized, and aggrieved citizens? If not, will the war ever end? 

Countries like the European Union, the United States, and Turkey, among others, have shown their solidarity with innocent children by offering aids through bodies like UNCHCR and UNICEF. They have also called for talks in a bid to create secured areas in the region to enhance their aids and the safety of the citizens (BBC News, 2018). Conversely, these groups have various interests and would like to control specific areas that have inhibited the aim of these conferences. What then, is the main objective of these nations? Narrow interests or the assistance of the humiliated and poor citizens innocent trapped in the war? 

The mediation process needs neutral individuals to assist the disputants in solving their issues amicably. However, the international community has not brought the rebels and the government to the table to unearth the main issue. Will they manage to reach a long-lasting solution by separating the parties in the parties in the mediation process? Therefore, it is essential for the international community to redefine its interests in the Syrian War and establish better techniques in handling the conflict. Otherwise, peacekeeping missions and creating safer zones in the country will remain a nightmare. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. The question is raised as to what the “international community” can do to end the war in Syria – a war which has spread and which I call now “the Syria-Iraq-Kurdistan-Turkey” conflicts. Since the “international community” has no face, rather we have to ask what can we do and why have our efforts had not more impact.
    Mid-March 2011 non-violent protests and demands for limited reforms began and then were increasingly met by Syrian government violence. By the end of June 2011 armed opposition to the government began, in part from Syrian military deserting with their weapons and forming armed militias. During the first three months – March-June- there were a good number of interesting non-violent efforts and imaginative forms of protest. However, during these three months of 2011, there was not enough support from peace and non-violent groups from abroad. Violence became the “order of the day”.
    At the end of February 2012, the former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was appointed as a joint U.N.-League of Arab States moderator. Since Kofi Annan had his office in Geneva, the Association of World Citizens became actively concerned. Also I knew fairly well the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil el-Araby, long-time Ambassador of Egypt to the U.N. In the years since then, the Association of World Citizens, along with others, has highlighted six concers.
    1)The wide-spread violations of international humanitarian law (international law in time of war). Thus the need for a U.N.-led conference for the re-afirmation of humanitarian law
    2) The wide-spread violations of human rights standards.
    3) The deliberate destruction of monuments and sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
    4) The use of chemical weapons in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol signed by Syria at the time as well as the more recent treaty banning chemical weapons.
    5) The situatiion of the large number of persons displaced within the country as well as the large number of refugees and their conditions in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. In addition there is the dramatic fate of those trying to reach Europe.
    6) The specific conditions of the Kurds and the possibility of the creation of a trans-frontier Kurdistan without dividing the current States of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran.
    These issues have been raised with diplomats and others participating in negotiations in Geneva as well as with the U.N. appointed mediators. In addition there have been articles published and then distributed to NGOs and others of potential influence.
    Efforts have been made to create an atmosphere in which negotiations in good faith could be carried out. Good faith is, alas, in short supply, but efforts must continue.
    It is likely that the current fighting in Idlib Provence may be the end of the military phase, but the basic issues continue. Thus we must increase the effectiveness of our efforts.

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