What Can Help Syria?
Syrian refugees in the Zahle area in the central Bekaa Valley, June 10, 2013. (Pekka Tiainen/European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations)

What Can Help Syria?

Al-Ittihad, UAE, December 22

It is heartbreaking for all Syrians and Arabs that the economic situation in Syria has reached a state in which Syrians at home lack the minimum necessities of life, the most important of which is electricity, which in this era has become the juice of daily life. In addition, most Syrian people are struggling to cope with the rise in the prices of basic materials, especially food, and with a successive decline in the purchasing value of the Syrian pound. The Syrian refugees who have been scattered for 11 years in refugee camps on the lands of neighboring countries are no better off than those residing at home. It is a long-time tragedy, and the international interest in its treatment has become lukewarm, and even declined with the acceleration of the deterioration, and with the international changes and the different priority schedules of many of the concerned countries. Recently, the Russian-Ukrainian war has become the focus of international attention, with its economic and security repercussions, and Russia is no longer able to provide the usual assistance it once provided the Syrian government. Likewise, Iranian support for the Syrian government has declined with the continuation of sanctions and the failure to reach a renewal of the nuclear agreement. Some politicians were calling on Russia to launch a mandate in Syria, in order to carry out the duties set forth by the United Nations. But Russia is no longer able to bear the accumulated burdens, and there is nothing left in Syria that tempts the Russians to continue their involvement there. Even the call for the return of the millions of refugees has become an additional burden on the Syrian government. Likewise, the call to start reconstruction has become less important than stopping the collapse. I do not think that anyone in the Syrian opposition wants to see the collapse of the Syrian state. We are all aware that more economic collapse will lead to social disasters and greater tragedies than what we’ve seen to date. And while the specter of partition looms on the horizon, especially since Syria became an area of influence for some countries, all Syrians refuse to see their country divided. When the French Mandate tried to divide it, its plan failed, and the Syrians recovered the unity of their country. These are temporary reactions and feelings, and the Syrians, when they meet, quickly transcend the narrow and artificial affiliations that have developed in unnatural circumstances. Just as the war separated them, it today brings them together. – Riyad Naasan Agha (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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