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How Can the International Community End the Syrian Civil War?

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HOW CAN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY END THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR?

This paper aims to analyze the situation of the war in Syria and the actions of the international community in it. It is a religious political conflict, with many interests of different countries, which has claimed the lives of 500,000 people in six years[1] and has forced to take refuge to another six million.

The first question we must ask ourselves when dealing with the conflict is the following: How could peaceful protests like the Arab Spring have ended in one of the bloodiest wars in the Middle East?

It is due mainly to two elements: the first, the brutal repression of the Regime, which at first bet all its letters to the military solution.

The second, in the presence of the regional powers, which have financed the two sides of the conflict, which has led to an intensification of sectarianism. United these two elements is what explains to us that in the case of Syria we are talking about the biggest humanitarian catastrophe that has been in the region since the Second World War, with 500,000 dead. In this case the Arab Spring[2] has not been successful, while in others like Tunisia.

I believe that the Syrian war is a problem rather regional than international, among other things because from the beginning it was seen that the Western countries and especially the European Union did not intend to be actively involved. That political vacuum that the international community did not occupy was filled by the countries of the region that also have a clearly counterrevolutionary agenda. In none of the cases were they interested in the fact that these mobilizations in demand for changes and freedoms were successful; what the powers of the Persian Gulf wanted was to create a firewall so that this popular revolution against the authoritarian regimes would stop.

It is clear that the entire international community, at least at first decided to look the other way, hoping that the Syrian crisis did not splash on them and as we have had the opportunity to see in the end, it has ended up spilling over all the countries of the European Union. in two ways: through a massive wave of refugees - there are more than 1.2 million asylum requests in European countries[3] - and on the other hand, by the attacks perpetrated by jihadist groups against some countries that have played a significant role within the international coalition formed to attack ISIS, as in the case of France, Germany or Belgium.

My beliefs that the international community is legitimized for the armed struggle are firm, eradicating terrorism is the only way to settle the war conflict.

I am in favor of an intervention agreed within the United Nations, based on the doctrine of the responsibility to protect when civil society is constantly bombed and massacred. The Security Council should have been activated in the first stages of the war; nowadays, after six years, it is very difficult to overcome the resistance of some countries to get actively involved in the field, but in its day if all the springs had been activated, it would have been possible to avoid having reached the situation that we are today, with 500,000 dead, 6 million refugees, 7.5 million displaced people ... If there had been a more determined intervention by the international community, we would not have fallen to the hell we are now.

But we must also consider what these six years of war have shown is that a military solution is not possible. Today we find ourselves with a completely divided country and, therefore, we must resort to negotiations and the political situation. What happens is that it will be very difficult to reach a compromise if there is no will from the parties involved[4] and also if there is no pressure from the international community. The bases are there and are very clear: the creation of a transitional government and the holding of elections, the main obstacle remains the permanence of Bashar al-Asad in power. While some consider it an irreplaceable piece, others argue that it should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is what confronts both sides and while al-Asad has support from regional and international actors, such as Iran and Russia,[5] it will be very difficult for it to be dismounted from power.

A few mounths ago we just saw a major armed attack by the United States. That bombing of the Trump administration [6]is one more example of the completely erratic policy that the United States has had towards Syria. From the first moment they sent messages to the rebels that they would be behind and that they would support them but then left them to their fate for a long time. Barack Obama refused to bomb Syrian territory after weapons of mass destruction were used in the summer of 2013[7] and now Trump has decided to intervene. Perhaps the main question is whether this will mark a radical change of American foreign policy towards Syria or is an exception, an isolated attack.

Trump is completely unpredictable. Every week he practically changes his policy. Two weeks ago he said that al-Ásad must be conserved as a minor evil before the advance of ISIS and that it had to be coordinated with Russia, and ten days later it does the exact opposite. In any case, it is clear that bombing the territory does not solve things; The parties must be pressured to reach a peaceful compromise to end the bloodletting and a consensus must be sought from the United Nations Security Council.

It is therefore a common commitment of the countries difficult to achieve but it is the only way to close, not only the Syrian wound, but also other neighboring countries with a similar scenario, as in the case of Iraq or Yemen[8]. In this sense, the Syrian conflict should not be interpreted in isolation but seek an agreement on a regional scale that involves putting out the remaining conflicts that exist in the Middle East. The situation has reached such a point of instability that there is a very active and decisive involvement of international actors to stop this cold war or the Middle East will continue to descend into the abyss.

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