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Currently, the political situation in Syria is not very clear. Both the Syrian government and the opposition factions are dependent on external sponsors. The UNSC has passed 27 resolutions on Syria and the World Bank monitors the impact of the conflict on people and economy.
World Bank monitors impact of conflict on people and economy
During the six-year war in Syria, the economy has suffered a substantial economic loss. The country's GDP is estimated to have fallen by more than half of its pre-conflict level.
The bulk of Syrian imports have been raw materials for industry and machinery. The country's inflation peaked at 15 percent in 2011, primarily because of a collapse in the supply of critical goods.
Government-affiliated militias continue to arbitrarily detain people throughout the country. The World Bank estimates that disruptions to the economic organization cost 20 times more than the destruction of capital during the first six years of the conflict.
The Syrian government has arbitrarily barred people from accessing the al-Rukban refugee camp near the Jordanian border. Thousands of civilians have been prevented from accessing the most basic necessities. The Syrian government has failed to address food and fuel shortages.
Syrian government forces and opposition factions are dependent on external sponsors
Throughout Syria's civil war, government forces and opposition factions are dependent on external sponsors, especially Iran and Russia. Russia and Iran have invested billions in propping up Assad's regime, while their own forces are suffering thousands of casualties. Assad's hold on power seems unshakeable, but the country faces years of turmoil.
Syria's civil war has been characterized by the dynamic changes of its landscape. The opposition has formed various coalitions and alliances to coordinate political action. These coalitions have been drawn together through personal relationships, and they have often formed around tribal dynamics. But Syria's rebellion also faced internal divides and fissures.
A US-backed group called Harakat Hazzm dissolved in February 2015. Another US-supported faction, the Faction to Liberate the People, was active in Hama. However, international extremist leftist groups who support Assad's regime targeted the group.
Syrian-led political process vs Assad's own political demise
During the last year, President Bashar al-Assad has scored several diplomatic wins. While the regime has made little progress in the political sphere, it has also managed to score some major wins in the military sphere.
The Syrian government is sparing no effort to eliminate pockets of terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still unaccounted for. Many areas are destroyed. The economy has been devastated. Some 6.6 million Syrians were forced to leave their homes by 2021. These refugees, who are mostly in Europe, are considered Internally Displaced Persons.
The Assad regime has also managed to monopolize economic openings. It has received important support from its main regional ally, Iran. Iranian mercenaries have provided vital assistance on the ground. In return, the regime has seized economic opportunities that the country could have otherwise enjoyed.
UNSC has passed 27 resolutions on Syria
Despite the fact that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has passed 27 resolutions on Syria, there is little evidence that it has achieved any of the goals it set out to accomplish. The Council's failures to pass the three draft solutions that could have had a real impact on the situation in Syria are part of a broader failure of the international community.
For starters, the resolutions themselves were dead-letters. They do not call for a UN Special Envoy to Syria or impose sanctions on the Assad regime, which are the most likely outcomes of these resolutions. They also do not do much to help the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Another resolution passed by the UNSC has the potential to solve the problem of how to effectively access humanitarian aid into Syria. The resolution calls for the renewal of the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism. It would authorize delivery of aid into northwest Syria without the permission of the Syrian president. This is important because it will allow more people to receive assistance.
Syrian refugees have nowhere else to go
Across the Middle East and Europe, a growing number of Syrian refugees are surviving in squalor and danger. The influx of refugees has created a strained infrastructure. The cost of food and utilities is skyrocketing, while insecurity limits humanitarian access.
Syria's weakened governance has led to the destruction of social services. Poor sanitation and lack of access to healthy foods make children more vulnerable to disease. They also suffer from psychological trauma. Many Syrian children have lost family members to violence. They are susceptible to sexual exploitation in informal settlements.
Syria has the largest refugee population in the world. More than six million refugees have been forced from their homes since the conflict began in 2011. Sixteen percent of the refugees are women. Most live on less than half the Lebanese minimum wage.
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