Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Escalates As Peace Talks Disintegrate
This week brought another tragic marker in the two-year Syrian civil war as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that its tracking showed a total of 100,191 had died over the 27 months of the conflict bringing the total deaths to 100,000. Of those, 36,661 are civilians, the group said.
According to the United Nations, the war has claimed the lives of 6,000 children, and almost 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. And the death toll increased again when a suicide bomber killed four people in the Christian sector of Damascus on June 27.
Crisis In Syria Is Reaching Critical Mass
The two years of civil war has also eroded two decades of Syrian development. “If the conflict doesn’t stop, one can imagine where we would be a year from now. It is simply a massive tragedy,” Radhouane Nouicer, the United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, told Diplomatic Courier.
The gravity of the crisis in Syria and the broader Middle East was also expressed by Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco in a briefing to the UN Security Council.
“The scourge of war is, once again, destroying lives and burying hopes,” he said, adding that no matter how difficult conflict resolution can be the Security Council and “the United Nations at large cannot give up and cannot let a sense of collective impotence erode our sense of responsibility.”
International Organizations Struggle To Move Forward
The capacity of the UN to resolve the conflict, however, remains in grave doubt, particularly after the announcement of the likely cancellation of a planned peace conference in July. Increased tensions between the US and Russia concerning the National Security Agency wiretapping program and the events which have followed only cast more doubt on the prospects of a peace agreement.