The Ankara-based think tank, Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) organized a panel entitled "Crisis in Syria: An Endless War?" on Thursday to assess the four years of conflict in Syria.
The conflict in Syria is nearly entering its fifth year, having left more than 200,000 people dead, 840,000 wounded and nearly 6.5 million people displaced in Syria
Commenting on Turkey's role and evaluating the cause and outcomes of the Syrian war, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın underlined that the international community has failed to do its part from the perspective of both providing humanitarian and military aid, as well as in aiding the Syrian National Coalition (SNC). Khaled Khodja, the president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionaries and Opposition Forces, and the general manager of Al-Arab Television Jamal Khashoggi also participated as keynote speakers and addressed possible solutions to resolving the Syrian crisis and evaluating the internal and external dynamics of the conflict.
During the first part of the panel, Kalın predominantly discussed the role of the international community, as he further addressed the issues related to foreign fighters and people joining the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Kalın said: "The Syrian regime had established the foundation for organizations such as ISIS." Highlighting the connection between ISIS and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Kalın added that within the list of sanctions announced on March 6 by the EU, there are three companies that provide direct financial support to ISIS and the regime. Continuing his speech with further examples supporting ISIS-Assad regime cooperation, Kalın added that Assad's forces have not carried out any serious attack against ISIS and vice-versa, while it brutally attacks innocent civilians.
"The failed states in the Middle East have created great costs for regional politics. The cost that the failed states cause is not limited to that country, in fact there is no state structure left in Syria. Similar issues apply to weak states, as we can see in Iraq, Yemen and now in Libya, which allows non-state actors and militias to cause new chaos in the region," Kalın said.
Commenting on the significance of Aleppo, Kalın said: "If Aleppo falls, not only will it affect Syrian communities, but it will also harm Turkey as it will cause a further humanitarian crisis in the region. To conclude, the Syrian crisis has drawn up the constructive energy of the region, thus all regional and Western allies must devote joint efforts to resolving the conflict."
Khaled Khodja said in his speech that the activities of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the cities of Qamishli and al-Hasakah would likely maintain the option of military action rather than political negotiations. He further commented on the role of Iran in the region and said: "The ongoing negotiations on the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran allows Iran to freely flow within the region, which causes them to establish an expansionist policy in region." In addition, Khashoggi said that there are three major actors that could play a major role in Syria: Turkey, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
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