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The Western media, think tanks, and policy community routinely portray the Syrian conflict as a dichotomy of the Assad regime and the opposition. Yet, this has never been the case on the ground. The conflict has been –and still is, primarily – a popular movement of Syrians from all walks of life and backgrounds for better governance, freedom of expression, and other liberties. By reducing the Syrian conflict to an “Assad-opposition” duality, we effectively marginalize the population’s peaceful majority, empower two violent extremist actors, and ignore Syria’s complexity and its overarching civic identity. However, these latter societal characteristics are precisely the pillars we need to cherish if we are to prevent a further slide toward a protracted conflict eventually resulting in either a dictatorship or a fundamentalist state.

 

 

 

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Philip Gamaghelyan
Philip Gamaghelyan
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Foreword After the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the region...
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