Over 3 million refugees have fled Syria, 10 million others displaced as new peace plan proposed
The war in Syria continues to rage out of control as the various groups of “rebels” and Syrian military forces besiege cities, putting civilians in the deadly crossfire. The heaviest fighting in recent weeks has been around the city of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border, where over 1000 people have been killed. The United Nations has updated the number of refugees in a new report which estimated the total number of people fleeing the conflict at over 3 million.
The number of people internally displaced in Syria and Iraq as a result of the conflict is more than 3 times higher, estimated at over 10 million.
Sydney Morning Herald
The 13.6 million include 7.2 million displaced within Syria as well as the 3.3 million Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries or further afield, the UN said.
At least 1.9 million people in Iraq have been displaced as militants from the Islamic State attack cities and towns through the north and west, adding to the 1 million previously displaced. A further 190,000 have left the country to seek safety, the United Nations said on Tuesday in Geneva.
The figures were released amid warnings of looming food supply crises as well as the beginning of winter and the rainy season in the country. The UN is gearing up for relief efforts to target the 3 million plus refugees with a “winterization” plan including blankets, warm clothing and more.
The latest reports have been focused on renewed international efforts at a long term peace solution. A major factor in the negotiations is euphemistically referred to as “stopping terrorism” which has become a blanket term for the amorphous disruptions by various factions with operational support from hidden hands.
According to Russian and UN sources, the agenda of the conference to be held between the two sides includes establishing a transitional Syrian government with extensive powers while maintaining Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authority over the army and security institutions. The government is to include representatives of the regime and opposition figures, such as Khatib and Jamil, and to be led by an “unprovocative” figure. The mission of the government will include creating a constituent body, either elected or appointed, that will radically amend the Syrian constitution. About two years after establishing the transitional government, parliamentary elections can take place followed by a presidential election that Assad can run in.
The Russians and the Egyptians are counting on the fact that the goal of this initiative is to push the political process forward. They believe that fighting terrorism is currently a priority in Syria and that the success of this process requires mobilizing the greatest possible number of national forces to confront ISIS, al-Nusra Front and other al-Qaida-style organizations.
Al-Masdar News claimed to have exclusive details on the emerging peace proposal.
Sources close to Al-Masdar News have revealed portions of the proposal presented to Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, including specific areas that would be affected by this contingency. The source stated the proposal outlined a deal involving the Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya) and the SAA to adhere to a ceasefire inside the city of Aleppo; specifically, in the Hanano, Bani Zaid, Salahaddeen, Al-Ramouseh, Handarat, Sheikh Sa’eed, and Al-Layramoun Districts. The only area that was not mentioned in the proposal was the YPG-controlled Sheikh Miskeen District; it is likely due to the lack of hostilities in this area.
Similar to the ceasefire agreement in the Old Homs Quarter, the SAA will allow for the militants to leave the city of Aleppo without any violent confrontation and to provide them transportation. The militants from the Islamic Front will be required to give-up their weapons before they are mass transported to areas on the Turkish border with Aleppo. Upon their absence from the city of Aleppo, the SAA will have to allow U.N. groups inside the war-torn areas, while the former is allowed to reestablish checkpoints inside the once militant-controlled districts in the city.