After 27 months, the calamitous armed-conflict in Syria continues unabated, while increasingly drawing regional and international players into its military maw. The peaceful demonstrations that erupted in southern Syria in early 2011 calling for civil liberties and for political, social and economic change were quickly thwarted by government forces. For decades state institutions were unable to respond effectively to end the deprivation and marginalisation of large segments of the population. Even as the Syrian economy grew over the previous decade, and as the government implemented inconclusive and partial social and economic reforms, they passed many regions by or delivered meagre results that did not meet people’s expectations of aspirations. (SCPR 2013a) The prolonged inability of the government to provide fundamental solutions for the needs of society is an underlying element in the turn toward armed-conflict.
Sadly, in the absence of statesmanship and diplomatic integrity, the international relations system has so far failed to serve the interests of the Syria people, who require an end to hostilities and an authentic political settlement if they are to re-establish and rebuild their lives and society. Regrettably, the engagement of regional and international actors in the conflict has succeeded in financing and fuelling its escalation.