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What Is The Situation In Idlib?

Al-Etihad, UAE, December 6

Can the war in Idlib end the intransigence of the terrorist organizations in Syria? The eleventh round of Astana meetings failed, and the political parties taking part in the talks – Iran, Russia and Turkey – were unable to extend the 10-week truce that is set to expire in the city soon. The Syrian regime has been continuously bombing the countryside areas of Idlib and Hama. There were numerous massacres, and dozens of people have been killed at the hands of the regime. The most frequent victims are women and children. The number of bombings and assassinations has increased, and about four million people are still living in uncertain and dangerous conditions. Opening a secondary front in Idlib could lead to a horrendous calamity. Although the international players involved in the Astana talks are acting out of a true desire to end the war, they have failed to understand the simple fact that a political solution will not suffice in Syria. They called for the establishment a constitutional committee that would help write a new Syrian constitution. But the truth of the matter is that the Syrian north has become a breeding ground for terrorist organizations, which enjoy widespread support. The only way to move forward with the Syrian ceasefire plan is to disarm these movements and ensure that a new Islamic State doesn’t emerge in the Middle East. The new U.S. envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, made reference to this issue in a recent interview when he said: “We need a Syrian government that does not push half of its population outside the country in order to solve the fighting. Doing so will simply create new terrorist organizations.” Therefore, the only viable solution to the Syrian crisis would be one that prevents more massacres and initiates an on-the-ground intervention. The failure of the Astana meeting is an omen for more bloodshed, unless world powers put aside their disagreements and reexamine their priorities. Achieving a clear political vision for Syria will make Syrian citizens more confident in their future. Most importantly, it will send a clear message to both criminals and extremists that they have no future in the country. –Riyadh Naasan Agha

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