Sunday marks the ninth anniversary since the peaceful demonstrations kicked off in Syria calling for democracy. Today, regional and international players coexist in regime-run areas in an interlocking manner that could lead to a military clash at any moment while Syrians remain divided.
The Russian and Turkish armies conducted joint patrols on the Aleppo-Latakia road, known for its strategic significance as it links the Syrian coast west to Iraq economically, passing through the east of the Euphrates.
On Saturday, Syrian activists organized a sit-in near Ariha to protest against these patrols, Russia`s participation in opening the road and the continued spread of Iranian organizations in contact points between Aleppo and Idlib.
Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his forces from northeastern Syria in October, Russian and Turkish armies and the Syrian government forces were deployed in the east of the Euphrates.
This deployment has resulted in “coexistence” between patrols of the warring parties, each trying to control the area in a their own way.
At least 384,000 people have died, including more than 116,000 civilians, since the war began in March 2011, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.
It pointed out that this figure doesn’t include those who died from torture in government detention prisons or those missing and abducted in various areas, who are estimated to reach 97,000 Syrians.
The conflict has displaced more than 11 million people internally and abroad.
The United Nations estimated in 2018 that the conflict had caused nearly $400 billion in war-related destruction.
“Basic services, hospitals and schools need to be rebuilt” across the country, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Saturday.
“Houses and land need to be cleared of unexploded ammunition. Jobs and other sources of income need to be created and maintained.”