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The Syrian crisis and the new international agenda


The "World War" in Syria and the role of Brazil

Marcelo Rech

On March 15 of 2011, the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad strongly repressed the first manifestations against the regime when the so-called Arab Spring burst out in the region. Six years later, the civil war in Syria doesn’t seem to have an end.

In a large extent, that fact is thanks to the interests of regional and global powers, which make a theater of Syria to secure their goals in the international stage. What was supposed to be an internal conflict ended being severely contaminated by the most varied interference. From the beginning, government and rebels both received support, resources, weapons and mercenaries willing to fight.

We are facing a catastrophe, a true world war circumscribed to a territory of little more than 184,000 km² and from where nearly five million people already escaped. Another 500,000 didn’t have the same luck and now thicken the exponentially growing statistics of fatalities.

Besides the foreign intervention in Syria, the war also strengthens due to the failure of the main international mechanisms of political concertation, like the United Nations (UN), uncappable of putting a brake in the slaughter.

Face to face with this context, actors such as Brazil, with a population of more than ten million Arabs, many of which of Syrian and Lebanese descent – like the President himself – should be acting with bigger protagonism, going far beyond the mostly protocol issuing of notes on the perverse effects of the war.

Of course, the internal situation, the uncertainties and the political instability compromise stronger cutting efforts, but Brazil is still quite well regarded in the Middle East. International recognition is given to its firm position regarding rejecting the use of the force by all the parts at war and to the consolidated support and determination of the countries of the BRICS so that there is a political and diplomatic solution for the war.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa reject the attacks of the western coalition that have been producing enormous civil losses and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure without producing tangible results as for an efficient solution to the war.

The North American bombings, criticized even by republicans, also denounce the lack of interest for a lasting truce, able to produce dialog and, with it, a definite armistice. In other words, there are more people sabotaging the peace and feeding the war than anything else.

There is also a visible tiredness regarding the traditional actors, more worried with reaching their geopolitical objectives and leaving the Syrian population in a second plan very far from any priority.

The redemption of the traditional Brazilian foreign politics, focused in humanist values, could play an extremely positive role when nobody understands each other and many don’t even know why they are fighting.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor and analyst in the Institute InfoRel of International Relations and Defense and is specialized in International Relations. E-mail:

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