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Syria heading towards peace against all odds

In this Arab nation that has faced a war exceeding six years, the armed conflict reduced this 2017 thanks to Army and ally victories against the Daesh terrorist group.


Photo Wikimedia Commons

Oscar Bravo Fong


Those successes, among other factors, are linked to the establishment of four demilitarized zones in various parts of the country, which paves the way for the peaceful process of the armed conflict in the Levantine territory.

The triumphs achieved by military forces, with the help of Russia in the provinces of Alepo and all of Deir Ezzor – the city of the same name, Al-Mayadeen and Al bukamal encouraged other western states to even recognize that the troops loyal to the president, Bashar Al-Assad, won the war. However, even on the battlefield there are remnants of terrorist groups and opposition formations that in a certain way support them, with the help of the United States military forces.

After the defeat of the Daesh extremists in Deir Ezzor, Government troops still are challenged with facing other terrorist groups like The Levantine Liberation Front (once Al-Nusra).

This radical group concentrates its elements in the northern province of Idlib and in some southern areas.

Al-Nusra is also present in East Ghouta, east of Damascus, a region where extremist groups often launch mortar shells and missiles against capital cities.

Amid the complex situation, the Syrian and Russian governments feel that for the settlement of the conflict inflicted on this country, the biggest obstacle remains the illegal presence of the US Army in this territory, which does not have the approval of the Syrian government.

According to recent data, Washington has about 2,000 military personnel on Syrian soil, while it counts about 5,200 in neighboring Iraq, according to data from the Pentagon.

Analysts have confirmed that in addition to the illegal air base of Al-Tanf, in southern Syria, The United States has at least a dozen military bases in the northeast of the Arab state, where since March 2011 there has been relentless war. The armed conflict, in addition to causing economic losses worth more than two hundred thousand million dollars, to date has left the number of dead and mutilated at more than half a million, according to the United Nations and independent agencies.

What’s more, the conflict has left the destruction of more than 3,000 of the 22,000 schools in the country and some 27,000 buildings, the great descent in agricultural and industrial production and the decline in life expectancy from 75.9 years on average in 2011 to 55.7 years currently, according to data from humanitarian organizations.

Despite evidence that Islamic State (Daesh), which has invaded Syria since 2014, has been militarily defeated – without ruling out that it could resurface under other guises – the American troops refuse to pull out of the country.

The United States, like many other Western players in the war, aims to control the oil and gas resources of this state and disregards the repeated demands of the Syrian government in front of the United Nations to pull out their troops.

In addition, there are other conditions that prevent an effective political solution to the problem.

These include the logistical, financial and weaponry backing by Monarchies of the Gulf to extremist groups, and systematic Israeli attacks, including missile bombing against installations in Damascus.

An important element in the search for peace in Syria constitutes the creation of demilitarised zones, in accordance with an agreement adopted in May of this year by Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The agreement established areas of conflict de-escalation in the Eastern Ghouta region, East of Damascus; north of Homs; in Idlib and certain areas of the neighboring provinces (Latakia, Hama, and Aleppo), as well as in southern areas.

Its central focus is to achieve a cessation of fighting between Syrian government forces and armed opposition.

Parallel to this plan, which is strongly promoted by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, under the sponsorship of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 11 rounds of negotiations were held between the government and the Syrian opposition, without even reaching concrete agreements.

Experts in international politics feel that the discussions will not advance if the opposition groups continue to demand as a condition for inter-Syrian dialogue that the president Al-Assad leaves power.

In the attempt to find a solution to the conflict through political and diplomatic means, representatives of the world body outlined a blueprint that includes the reform of the Constitution and the realization of elections in the near future. While this is happening, internally, the Syrian authorities are promoting the process of national reconciliation, which is felt with the return to their home communities of thousands of civilians and their reincorporation into social life. (PL)

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