The Syrian Civil Conflict is an ongoing, multi-sided civil war fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic, led by President Bashar al-Assad, and numerous domestic and foreign organisations opposing the government and each other in various combinations. The Syrian government and its allies, a loose alliance of Sunni Arab rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the Salafi jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda affiliate), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (I.S.I.L.) are engaged in the conflict. The conflict has created a major humanitarian crisis, having gotten more than 250,000 people killed and over 11 million displaced, with over six million displaced internally and over five million Syrians, Iraqis, and Lebanese displaced across borders.
There are severe food and water shortages, power outages, and a lack of medical care for the Syrian population. Additionally, the economy is negatively impacted, making poverty and its consequences worse. The Syrian Civil War has been a devastating conflict for the Syrian people, especially the children. According to U.N.I.C.E.F., more than 10,000 children have been killed and others forced into child labor, marriage, and recruitment by armed groups. Child labor has increased as families in desperate need of income use children as soldiers, human shields, and suicide bombers. U.N.I.C.E.F. reports that there are currently more than two million orphans in Syria and more than six million children need urgent assistance. The war has severely damaged Syria’s infrastructure, making it impossible for humanitarian agencies to assist those in need.
António Guterres, the ex-former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has stated that the Syrian crisis is one of the most severe disasters of our time. Regional and international parties have portrayed the conflict as a proxy war, with the Syrian government supported by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah and the majority of rebel organisations sponsored by Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The United Nations Security Council has enacted a number of resolutions requesting a ceasefire and humanitarian access, but they have been consistently disregarded. Numerous solutions have been presented in an attempt to bring peace to the region, but none have proven successful.
I propose some potential peacemaking strategies for the Syrian conflict:
Establishing safe zones within Syria where civilians can flee the conflict is the first step. All warring parties and countries in the area would have to work together to make sure the safe zones are actually safe.
The second seeks a political solution that would divide Syria into autonomous areas governed by a central administration with limited authority. This would require all conflicting parties to be amenable to compromise and making concessions.
Sending in foreign peacekeeping forces to help preserve a truce and protect people is the third step. All parties to the conflict would undoubtedly oppose this since they would view it as an encroachment on their sovereignty.
The next step involves implementing a no-fly zone over Syria to avoid any airstrikes. This would be challenging to implement and would need the assistance of the international community.
The offered remedies must be practical and realizable, and all parties to the disagreement must support them. Otherwise, their success is doubtful.
The proposed resolutions must be practical and realisable, and all conflicting parties must support them in order to protect civilians and especially children from further harm.