As we enter the fifth year of the Syrian crisis, I have tried for weeks to look for that imaginary needle in the Syrian haystack, yet I have not found anything positive to start from. There is no hope for a near solution, as the situation in Syria is worsening every day, while the Arabs are rubbing their hands in grief, and the world is watching on as Syrians are killed or displaced.
The United Nations recently issued a report stating that if what happened in Homs happened instead in Manhattan, most of the city would have been destroyed. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Syrian people feel the world has abandoned them as their attention has been shifted to ISIS and radical terrorist groups.
In a report issued by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the organization claimed that 350,000 people of Homs have been forced to live under siege for a year with no access to medical supplies, while only limited aid has arrived in the north of Homs. The report talks of killing, destruction and displacement on a massive scale.
Human Rights Watch claims terrorists are now using car bombs, mortars and rockets to attack civilians. The organization spoke of the hundreds of casualties and documented the testimonies from children and adults who witness these crimes being committed. Recently, 75 human rights organizations pleaded with the regime to stop the dropping of explosive barrels on civilians.
The International Development Program states two million Syrians have been forced to survive without the basic necessities for adequate living between 2013 and 2014, while 56 percent of the population depend on agriculture to live with over 75 percent of Syrians currently without access to land. We can add that violence and terrorism have prevented aid from reaching almost 12 million Syrians, with almost 220,000 Syrians killed in four years, and four million more fleeing their country to escape this horror.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Bashar al-Assad must be included in the country’s transitional phase, with the US State Department immediately responding by issuing a statement claiming a solution to Syria is only possible following the departure of the Syrian president.
Other American groups claim that Bashar Assad has convinced the Americans that he represents "the lesser of two evils". These groups add that Assad deliberately released criminals and terrorists from Syrian prisons in mid-2011, with a number of them later commanding militant Islamist forces; like the leaders of the Nusra Front, Ahrar ash-Sham and the Army of Islam.
In the ISIS-held areas in northeastern Syria, terrorists have begun the recruitment of children to the so-called Ashbal al-Khilafah – an organization providing military training for children, brainwashing them with extremist concepts to create a new generation of terrorists.
The Syrian army controls regime areas, but the influence of Iranian militias has increased significantly, while the smell of death permeates everywhere. Large portions of the population have left regime-held and terrorists-held areas, with both parties now controlling largely empty cities.
I look for instances of hope, but I only find causes of misery. I do not believe myself when I write today that what is needed is the unity of Syrian territory – of its land and people – as I never thought this matter would become a risk or a subject of controversy.
Is it all a daydream – or a nightmare – when I call for the withdrawal of foreign militias, the end to shelling, the punishment of the guilty, the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes, and an effective Arab role to stop the machine of death?
Or maybe should I call on national Syrian leaders to lead Syria to safety, but if these leaders had actually existed, we would not have fallen into the hell of this abyss. I have only to say: thy mercy, O Lord.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer