Many decisions and ambiguity surround the situation in Syria | Political unwillingness to solve the crisis remains unjustified • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Many decisions and ambiguity surround the situation in Syria | Political unwillingness to solve the crisis remains unjustified

The chairman of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,” Salem Al-Musalat stated recently that there was no serious international willingness to reach a political settlement in Syria, pointing out that there was a need to secure a safe return for displaced people.


Social media activists have criticised latest measures by Turkish authorities to force Syrian refugees in Turkey to return to Syria, although no settlement has been reached so far to put an end to the protracted war which the United Nations described as the “most violent in the modern age.”


In an exclusive SOHR interview with the former Minister of Information, Habib Haddad says “after over 11 years since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution, Syria has been still facing complex challenges at all levels, including the local, international and regional situations. The tyrant regime has not expressed any willingness so far to accept the international resolutions which aim to reach a political settlement in Syria, particularly the Resolution No. 2254. On the other hand, the current circumstances do not help Syrian people or contribute to forming a united national opposition with independent decision and administration to represent the Syrians on their way to national and democratic transition.”


Commenting on the regional powers’ stances, Haddad said “it is common knowledge now that these stances have been negative, especially when these powers worked on linking and using the opposition formations outside Syria as tools for serving their narrow interests.”


The former minister has pointed out that the recent developments all around the world, mainly the Russian-Ukrainian war and the expected dramatic repercussions, are clear signs that a political settlement in Syria is out of reach. Haddad clarified “the recent developments have exacerbated the situation further in Syria and in the regional states in general; that, in turn, has placed many challenges to the safe return of the Syrians. Amid these complex circumstances, I can see no imminent return for Syrian people to their homes, unless this issue tops the priorities of the transitional stage under a political settlement based on relevant international resolutions. This, in my opinion, brings us back to the first step that should be taken by Syrian people, and it is manifested in their success to form a unified front as soon as possible, representing their will to reach the desired free and independent homeland.”


On the other hand, officer Ahmed Qanatri sees that since the beginning of the crisis, there has not been an international will to reach a political settlement in Syria, especially since most of the efforts to intervene the Syrian conflict by international powers have led to keeping Bashar Al-Assad in power and prevented the war from reaching an end.


Qanatri told SOHR that the international intervention in the Syrian crisis aimed to run and manage the crisis not to solve it, as well as achieving narrow interests at the expense of innocent Syrian people.


Commenting on the availability to secure a safe return for displaced people and refugees, the officer said, “these are just rhetorical slogans that do not persuade anyone, even those who issue such slogans. These slogans are a waste of time like the play of drafting a constitution by the constitutional committee. Securing a safe return for Syrian refugees requires dealing with the real reasons behind the displacement and immigration of Syrian people. As long as these reasons, which manifested in the presence of Al-Assad in power, as well as the repression by his security services and ethnic militias, have not been dealt with, then there will be no safe environment for the return of refugees and displaced civilians. Securing a safe environment for the return of Syrian refugees means the toppling of Al-Assad’s regime, putting an end to the domination of security services and expulsion of the ethnic and radical militias from Syria.”


Regarding the role of the current opposition, Mr. Ahmed stated that it has no roles but to follow orders and instructions it receives, and that it is preoccupied with achieving personal interests and it has no influence in the terms of achieving the people’s interests, weather inside or outside Syria.


Also, the leader of the opposition National Coordination Committee, Yehia Aziz said, “the Resolution No. 2254 comes to confirm the importance of the implementation of the resolution passed during Geneva 1 and all resolutions relating to the Syrian crisis. The Resolution No. 2254 has been passed to reach a political settlement based on the unity of Syria through forming a transitional committee, drafting a constitution and running a parliament and presidential elections. The settlement in Syria can be reached only through a political process, and the Syrian regime has theoretically supported the political settlement, but it hindered such processes because there has been no a serious will by international powers to reach a political settlement. Two years and a half after the issuance of the Resolution No. 2254, the constitutional commission was formed with the aim of achieving a tangible progress towards a political settlement in Syria, but this step has not spurred the international community to force the warring powers to implement this political settlement for the same reason.”


Mr. Aziz wondered about the outcomes of seven meetings held by the constitutional commission since it was formed, clarifying that “the commission has achieved nothing so far regarding the drafting of a new constitution in Syria. This failure is attributed to two factors. The first is the tyranny of the Syrian regime which remains intransigent towards a negotiating political process. While the second factor manifests itself in the dominance of specific international powers over Syria’s affairs, as these powers are seeking only to impose their influence on the region to deplete its resources and could not care less about the people of Syria.


The opposition politician sees that the risks and catastrophic developments that affect Syria and repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the general situation in Syria have showed a state of discrimination regarding the international community’s dealing with the situation in Ukraine and proved the lack of seriousness and reliability by international actors regarding handling the Syrian crisis. The politician added “alignment by western powers with Ukraine’s situation, which manifested itself in their speeches and dealing with the humanitarian situation, has been undeniable.”


Mr. Yehia said “Syrian people need a permanent solution for the complex crisis. The situation is deteriorating further in light of the ongoing freefall of the Syrian currency against the US dollar. Such dreadful situations forced thousands of Syrians to immigrate. While the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations had stated that Syria has joined the list of the world’s ten countries threatened the most to face food security crisis.”


“Amid this disastrous situation, what should Syrian people do? The Syrian regime announced that it has sided with Russia in its war in Ukraine. On the other hand, the opposition is split, where a group calls for siding with western powers to fight Russia in Syria and joining the conflict in Ukraine, while another attempts to consolidate efforts of the democratic opposition to achieved desired progress leading to a political settlement which could potentially put an end to this protracted war. In light of this split, Syrian people have found themselves forced to face their destiny alone, after all actors and powers failed them, except some human rights organisations which have been highlighting their plight and do all possible efforts to help them.”

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