20/03/2024

Syria: Thirteen years of strife, conflict, and suffering

DARAMSUQ — As the Syrian Revolution enters its 14th year, what began as a grassroots movement demanding reform, and eventually the departure of the regime of Basha al-Assad, has settled into civil war in stalemate.

Over the past decade-plus, Syria has undergone significant transformation, with regions falling under the control of various external powers. Turkey, Iran, and Russia exert influence over different parts of the country, leaving Syrians caught in the crossfire as the most vulnerable victims of the conflict.

The conflict has had dire consequences for the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) communities in the country, forcibly displaced from their historic lands in Khabur and Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) by the Islamic State (ISIS) and Turkish forces respectively.

Sanharib Barsom, Co-Chair of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria, reaffirmed the party’s commitment to pursuing national and patriotic goals, advocating for democracy, freedom, and justice for all Syrians. While acknowledging that the revolution fell short of its objectives, Barsom highlighted the positive strides made in North and East Syria, underscoring the enduring spirit of revolution alive in those who yearn for liberty and equality.

The past 13 years have been rife with tragedy. Half of Syria’s population has been displaced, with many seeking refuge in neighboring countries and Europe. Nearly 90% of Syrians now live below the poverty line, and over 13 million suffer from food insecurity.

Moreover, Syria has become a geopolitical battleground where major powers such as the United States, Iran, Russia, and Turkey vie for influence, while Syrians themselves remain largely absent from crucial negotiations like the Astana and Sochi meetings.

Nasr al-Din Ibrahim, secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (KDPS), echoed the revolutionary slogans of freedom, dignity, and equality among all peoples, advocating for a decentralized, pluralistic democratic system.

Meanwhile, Maher Al-Tamran, representing the Syrian National Alliance in the Democratic Autonomous Administration of the Region of North and East Syria (DAARNES), appealed to the international community to exert pressure on all stakeholders involved in the Syrian conflict, emphasizing the urgent need for a comprehensive political solution to end the crisis and alleviate the Syrian people’s suffering.