Syria, a noiseless conflict

(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)

After three years, the civil war still overwhelms Syria into a spiral of violence. The diplomatic efforts of the United Nations to formulate a peaceful solution to the crisis failed, in part because of disagreement between the United States and Russia, which have different interest in the Middle East.

The international disagreement has opened two fronts: on the one hand, the Arab governments and Turkey intensified military and financial assistance to Syrian rebels; on the other hand, Iran, which is the main ally of Syria, financially supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad.


Clashes between Syrian Armed Forces and the armed opposition group Free Syrian Army (FSA) still continue, and the number of victims grows among the civilian population, while the war scenario is complicated by the entry of new players, such as Kurdish-Syrian militias and jihadists of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Kurdish minority in Syria initially claimed a low profile until July 2012, when the troops affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) began to occupy some Kurdish stronghold-city in northeastern Syria. The aim is to strengthen their ethnic identity and to expand their areas of influence. Ambitions that shake the near Turkey.


In fact, the possible emergence of an independent Kurdistan, along the border with Syria, could stimulate territorial claims in Turkey by Kurdish separatist movements and nationalists of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), of which the Syrian PYD is an extension.

This would justify the initial hesitation of the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in supporting the struggle of the Kurds against the attack of Islamic terrorists on Kobanê, in northern Syria, in the Syrian Kurdistan, located near the border with Turkey, and the request for a buffer zone along the Syrian border.


ISISis another serious danger: in fact, combining the brutal methods of action and fighting of al-Qaeda with the administrative capabilities of Hezbollah, it fights in the civil war against Syrian President al-Assad and opposes the rebels to regime.

The raids launched by the United States and the Syrian allies on jihadist positions in Syria failed: ISIS has a flexible structure and the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid Muallem, said that his government is ready to work together to combat terrorism.

A diplomatic move that would provide al-Assad to abandon the current isolation where the Syrian country is and, also, to free the land from the militias of al-Nusra Front.Allied of FSA against the regime and against ISIS, this terrorist group has occupied the province of Idlib, northwestern Syria, putting the FSA troops to flight.

The specter of terrorism is a priority in international political agendas to overshadow, also mediatically, the crisis that is taking place in Syria. General Martin Dempsey, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that ISIS cannot be defeated until it controls part of Syria, so the Syrian issue cannot fade into the background. Or rather, it is the civil war in Syria and its extension that have triggered the powder keg in Middle East, assuming a grave humanitarian dimension.


In this regard, on the occasion of the XXVII Ordinary Session of the Human Rights Council, UNHCR described the situation in Syria as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world. More than 190,000 victims, more than 3 million refugees who have reached the near countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and about 6.5 million displaced people inside Syria.

Among these, about 150,000 have applied for asylum to the European Union, which has already committed itself to integrate Syrian refugees within their own companies. Because of these statistics, UNHCR has urged the superpowers to seek the immediate solutions so that the crisis in Syria does not prove another failure of the international community yet.

Federica Fanuli

Master’s degree in Political Science, European Studies and International Relations (University of Salento)

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