Desperate times call for desperate measures

A phrase that dates back to Hippocrates and classical Greece, has been used infinite times across history. However, in modern times, this phrase has acquired a totally different, double-edged meaning. One conflict where this phrase must be used is the Syrian Civil War, where the never-ending war keeps affecting millions of people. Moreover, the ‘desperate’ measures taken seem to follow personal interests, while ignoring those of the affected people. In addition, it has become some sort of playground where international powers fight their own conflicts. Overall, the crises have escalated several times in different areas, where civilians have been the most affected. It’s them who have suffered the consequences from this war, afflicted by violence, displacement, exploitation, discrimination and many other issues.

In this conflict, the pursuit of interests and the incompetence of several organizations have only affected the people. Many militaries, as the American or Russian one, joined the conflict with the purpose of stabilizing the region, which wasn’t accomplished. Their involvement only brought more violence and destruction, along with thousands of displacements and human losses. On another hand, the European Union’s policies between combatting terrorists and stopping the migratory and humanitarian crisis only brought more turmoil to the conflict. Finally, the role of international organizations has been inefficient, as they haven’t been able to mediate the conflict and bring peace to the region. The consequences of most interactions in this complex situation is principally resented by the populace. From the use of chemical weapons to the targeting of hospitals and civil buildings, or to the discrimination and marginalization of refugees in Europe, the dimensions are vast. “[…] the Syrian civil war is already a forgotten tragedy. Civilian massacres of a kind the West once vowed never again to tolerate have become normalized” (NewStatesman, 2020). Moreover, the length of the conflict has drawn attention from it, eventually normalizing it or making it seem more distant. As globalized students, we should keep raising awareness on this conflict and trying to stop the tragedies that have gone along with it.

More specifically, the recent escalade of the conflict has become concerning. In Idlib, one of the last rebel strongholds, the humanitarian crisis seems to have reached its breaking point. “More than 950,000 Syrians have been forced from their homes since December, according to the United Nations, in the wake of an intensified military operation by Syrian government forces and their allies to retake the last rebel stronghold in the country” (Aljazeera, 2020). Moreover, thousands of people have found the region to be a dead end. To the south, they face the reckless Syrian military, already accused of targeting civilian and health buildings. To the north, all they have is the Turkish border, already stacked with over 200 refugee camps. In addition, the sub-zero temperatures and the lack of basic sanitation have further worsened the living conditions of the people. In Syria, the conditions for hundred thousands continues to worsen, not bringing truces of any kind.

On the other hand, the situation in Greece is also preoccupying. After Turkey threatened it would open its borders for migrants to access Europe, there have been several responses across the country. In the continental Greek-Turkish border, there has already been clashes with the security force, who have tried to stop the migrant inflow. In Lesbos and Samos, there have been strikes and riots opposing the construction of new migrant detention camps. In Moria, the immigrant settlement in Lesbos, there has been growing racism and intolerance from the locals towards the refugees. Last but not least, European countries have already started to threaten on closing their borders if the crisis continues. For thousands of people who have fled their homeland, the quest to a safe place doesn’t seem to end.

The never-ending Syrian Civil War had become one of the most sensible topics in recent times. Nevertheless, the efforts made by the main parties haven’t been sufficient to bring the conflict to an end. As seen over and over again, in the end the people who suffer the most from this is the Syrian people, who have been forced to move away from their home and their loved ones. We must not stop raising awareness on this issue and doing what’s within our grasp to aid people, both in and outside Syria. Furthermore, we should put pressure on authorities to bring peace and real solutions, putting aside their personal interests and looking after the affected people. In conclusion, it is now, in desperate times, where we must raise our voice and ask for desperate measures.

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