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Humanitarian corridors can help Syrians

French proposal has its merits, but should have a clear mission to make intervention more palatable

Gulf News

It is becoming increasingly clear that the war in Syria is headed for a drawn-out military stalemate, in which civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. By some estimates, more than 2,000 have been killed in Syria since the start of Ramadan. The United Nations (UN)is also clearing the way for an investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons, by both sides, in the conflict. International military intervention, without a clear victor in sight, is unlikely as no power will want to commit to an open-ended conflict. However, France has proposed the creation of humanitarian corridors in Syria, to provide aid to the civilian population. This will be one way to ease their suffering.

It will be naive to believe such corridors will not require military action, but by clearly defining a mission, such intervention may appear more palatable to those who may be called upon to support them. The creation of such corridors will require the support of the UN Security Council and will most likely become bogged down in the international rivalries that have so far prevented effective action on Syria. But Russia, for example, which has resolutely opposed effective international action against President Bashar Al Assad, may be a bit more reluctant to be seen opposing a humanitarian effort. The international community has a responsibility to put aside its own interests and do whatever it can to put an end to the sufferings of the Syrian people.