Russia is not hiding its goals in its Syrian war, and is not ambiguous about its alliance with Iran, Iranian-backed militias, and the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Moscow decided from the outset that the war in Syria is a Russian war on "Islamic terrorism," and will not stop until it declares victory.
The world's conspiracy of silence on mass killings in Syria must stop. It encourages the culture of impunity, and reminds one of General Roméo Dallaire's critical question: "Are we all human, or are some more human than others?"
The brutal and protracted conflict in Syria has taken an enormous human toll and the surge of refugees has catalyzed a host of worrying collateral effects in the region and beyond. While we all hope for peace, it is imperative to enable those who are in the country to maintain the basic lifelines of the land where wheat was first domesticated.
Many seem to fear the rise of China as a challenge to the West. Not Pope Francis. In a remarkable interview published this week in Asia Times, he takes the long view, transcending contemporary geopolitics and embracing the return of the Middle Kingdom's ancient civilization to the global stage as enriching for us all. (continued)
Even before any negotiations got off the ground in Geneva, the basic conflicts between the participants were on full display. And, to no-ones surprise, less than a week after the start of the so-called proximity talks, Staffan de Mistura suspended the process until at least February 25.
The exponential increase of refugees and migrants is tearing at the seams of the European Union, which is neither as united nor as supportive as it has tried to appear.
The most important message I could share from my experience growing up and coming over to Canada is that being a refugee doesn't last a lifetime. It's an experience that lasts but a few short years and opens the door to a life full of opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.
They don't come to steal jobs or University placements. Desperation is the main motivating factor. There is, literally, no other choice for Refugees.
It's hard to see how any informed political deal can be found without direct input from those battling to hold what's left of Syrian society together. Putting civil society's concerns and proposed solutions at the heart of negotiations is essential to producing a sustainable deal.
Coming on the heels of the breakdown of peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending Syria's five-year civil war, the billions currently being pledged is a sliver of hope that despite a lack of political solutions to actually end the war, the international community is committed to coming together to support the Syrian people and their increasingly generous neighbors.
The terror group's crude production, trade and revenue have been vastly over-estimated. It continues to depend on foreign financing to sustain its war machine.
Civil society organisations, both regional and Syrian, need to be empowered and strengthened to respond to the vast needs. They are on the front lines responding to the crisis and will be there long after Syria fades from the headlines. The world must act now for Syria.
They deserve a better future wherever they are in exile and more importantly, prospects for a more peaceful future in their homeland. The international community must keep up the momentum after this conference and do everything they can to pursue a lasting political solution.
Preparation for the rebuilding of Syria must be on the agenda. Whilst it has been easy to regard the current crisis as political calamity, it is just as important to know that any future stability, peace and prosperity in the region rests upon humanity providing for the suffering people of Syria today - optimistically I hope, this vision is shared by parties that have pledged for Syria's future.
Malek Jandali is a critically-acclaimed Syrian composer and pianist. A naturalized American citizen, Jandali has used the power of music to impact the...
To Syrian civilians, this is a war seemingly without end, and certainly without law. The parties to the conflict continue to bombard densely populated areas, lay ruin to homes, schools and hospitals, target and indiscriminately attack civilians, choke off desperately needed food, water and energy supplies, and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid.