Ending the ‘refugee crisis’ starts with ending the Syria crisis

Anna Nolan, at The Syria Campaign, writes: Lots of people have contacted us this week asking about the best way to support Syrian refugees. We believe that should be answered by Syrians — that’s something we’re working on developing. True solidarity is about asking people affected by a crisis what they truly need or want, and trusting that they will know better than you. In Syria, we have heard it time and time again, and unequivocally. To end the conflict, to defeat Isis, and to return to their homes, Syrians are calling for a no-fly zone.

Since the picture of Aylan hit headlines across the world 6 children have been killed in Syria every day, the majority from barrel bombs and missiles from Syrian government aircraft. But their bloodied and blown apart corpses don’t make the front page of any newspaper. None of the other 10,000 children killed in the fighting have. What broke my heart this week was a cartoon by Neda Kadri, a Syrian artist, that pictured Aylan in heaven being welcomed by children: “you are so lucky Aylan! We’re victims of the same war but no one cared about our death”. In the light of such massacres the focus of European politicians on whether or not to accept a few thousand more people feels somewhat absurd.

The war in Syria has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced 12 million, forcing more than four million to flee the country — the UN has called it “the greatest humanitarian crisis of our era.” But what is happening in Syria is also a crisis of politics and humanity. Syria is not an earthquake or a natural disaster; these crimes have agents and perpetrators, none greater than the Syrian government which is responsible for over 85% of civilian deaths. [Continue reading…]

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