This Must Happen in Syria

In March 2011 a bold statement appeared on walls in Darra, a small Syrian town near the border with Jordan: "The people want to topple the regime!" The irate secret police detained the 15 boys suspected of painting this graffiti, brutally torturing them to check if a subversive element was instigating rebellious movement. What started as a demonstration to protest the deaths of these 15 boys soon expanded to demand the ouster of Assad; when the government responded with violence, a full-fledged civil war broke out.

The international community needs to address the ongoing Syrian Civil War by bolstering the ongoing peace negotiation and eliminating the IS. To address the increasing number of refugees, nations have to agree on the accommodation of Syrian refugees. An exceptional diplomatic tact is crucial in ending the war in Syria since the conflict is turning increasingly “grey”: with both sides overlooking civilian casualties and committing crimes against humanity, it is neither wise nor feasible to simply force one side to submission. Even the U.S, who initially demanded immediate removal of Assad, acknowledges the need to diplomatically resolve the situation. Therefore, negotiation is the only viable option to end bloodshed in Syria.

The international community has collective responsibility to pressure main players in the war into making concessions relating to the future of Syria, including free election, Assad’s involvement in government, and formation of parliament. But the details of the agreement need not be finalized immediately- what’s even more important is for the international community to bring the warring sides to conference tables to negotiate peace truthfully, so that Syria can finally be free from the bloody internecine. Although establishing peace in Syria would mean resorting to arbitration rather than violence to resolve a conflict, some military actions are necessary to wipe out the absolute evil – the Islamic State. The Islamic State is a terrorist group that aspires to build a caliphate governed with Sharia law in Iraq and Syria. It rules its territories with intimidation and violence, crucifying those who disobey and exploiting rape as a military tactic. In order to rescue Syrians from this oppression, the international community has to combat the fanatics militarily. We were too slow to act in Rwanda in 1994 and Yugoslavia in 1995, where millions of people were massacred waiting for help from the international community. Some civilian casualties are destined to arise from military action, but considering how the IS deliberately commits genocide, simple talks and warnings are not enough.

Because the IS defy any form of negotiation and continue to murder innocent civilians, a military campaign is unavoidable; the international community needs to contribute to this effort by either direct intervention or financial assistance. The optimum option for resolving the refugee crisis would be to create a Safety Zone in the border between Syria and Turkey. Similar proposals were previously submitted, only to lose momentum due to political unwillingness of Syrian and Turkish government. The international community needs to push for this option by pressuring both governments. The EU especially can offer financial reward to Turkey in terms of trade in exchange for establishing a safe area designated for refugees on its side of the border. The safety zone would shelter refugees from crossfire and provide a temporary haven for them until they find a permanent residence. Too many Syrians were killed while trying to cross the border—the international community cannot simply stand aside and watch this tragedy unfold. The EU especially needs to accommodate more Syrian refugees, albeit with proper screening to prevent the influx of terrorism.

It is tragically ironic for advanced nations to criticize human rights abuses in Syria while refusing to help those who fled persecutions. While direct intervention in Syrian soil may be unfavorable for some countries, accepting refugees from Syria requires care for humanitarian concern, not political maneuver. Brazil recently announced its willingness to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees. Other countries should follow its model. Security concerns are understandable, but with proper mechanisms of checking and identification they cannot be a reason for abandoning the refugees.

In final analysis, the international community should be persuading and pressuring nations to accept more Syrian refugees. Diplomatically, influential countries should be targeting to create refugee safe-zone in Syria while negotiating peace to end the civil war between rebels and regime. Military operations would be a necessary evil to remove the Islamic State, thereby preventing further genocide. The international community can no longer afford to simply observe such catastrophes in Syria.

#TaehwaHong #Syria #refugee #assad #ISIS #EU #humanitarian #brazil #genocide #military #civilwar

The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author, and in no way reflect the opinions of Bridge the Divide or its affiliates.

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