The civil war in Syria that began in 2011 has had a tumultuous trajectory. The war has seen it all, from the Daraya massacre to the chemical attacks at Ghouta.
The Genesis of the War, however, lies in the Arab spring which brought about far-reaching ramifications; one saw regime changes and deliverance to democracy. Also, ill fated foreign policies compounded by proxy wars between the US and Russia has given rise to the bloodiest event of the 21st century.
The Syrian civil war has internally displaced nearly 6.6 million people and killed nearly 4,700,000 people. The Syrian Baathist government is politically and militarily aided by Iran, Russia, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian-based Palestine group PFLP-GC. The opposition meanwhile receives logistics, financing and mutations from the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
The government forces under President Bashir Al-Assad has made far-reaching gains in rebel-controlled areas. After seeing the ancient city of Homs and Aleppo devoured by the rebel and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces and the rise of the Islamic state controlling large swathes of territories in Al Raqqa. The government forces have come a long way mainly due to the help from the Kremlin.
Why is Aleppo so important?
The answer lies in its strategic location along with it being the largest city in Syria. As per Kheder Khaddour, a senior researcher at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Aleppo is a strategy employed by the regime and its allies, to break the opposition into small fragments and pockets so as to make them vulnerable and get them to become dependent on the regime’s allies for humanitarian access.
The UN secretary general’s last press conference gave an unswerving summation, calling Aleppo a synonym for “hell” where he further stated that the UN has collectively failed the people of Syria. As the civil war enters its 6th year, it is the civilians who have to bear the brunt.
The civil war has given us poignant images of Aylan Kurdi washed ashore in Turkey or that of Omaran Daqneesh who was rescued after an airstrike.
The question now is that how many more deaths and displacement can the world endure? “You can start a war, but you cannot finish it yourself, you cannot say I want to withdraw because that depends on the opponent”, was what Marshall Arjun Singh has said.
Therefore, world leaders must take the onus soon. Human lives cannot be weighed against petty ideologies and politics. There’s definitely some good left in this world, and it’s time to outshine that for the cause of humanity.