If all the terms to peace in Syria were agreed upon today, peace could come to the children of the Levant tomorrow. But peace cannot and will not come to Syria until the hindrance that Bashar al Assad represents is removed from the process. Assad remains too large a dividing and a destabilizing factor to remain in Damascus during the search for peace.
The Assad regime's civil war against the Syrian people has so far claimed a whopping 206,000 lives since March 2011, according to figures release by the London based, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In 2014, the group offered the gut-wrenching total deaths at 76,000, including 3,501 children among the 17,790 civilians killed in the Syrian war.
United Nations(UN) and other observers have offered compelling evidence that Bashar al Assad forces have used chemical weapons on a number of occasions on civilians. One such event resulted in the death of 421 children and over 1,000 adults.
The Islamic State(IS) which is attempting to forge a Caliphate in the Levant, has capitalized on the destabilizing nature of the Assad regime to swell its ranks with a number of Arab and international youths seeking an alternative to Assad's rule.
Resounding cases of crimes against humanity committed by Assad's forces against Syrians precludes Bashar al Assad from any role in Syria post peace.
Welcomed Russian attempts to advance a peace plan in light of the friendship the Russians hold with the Assad regime, are a good start to peace. But any attempts by Russia to insist on Assad's continued rule in the Levant will obviously derail and hinder all hopes to peace. In the mean time, Russia could be talking with Assad to locate an alternate abode for the hereditary leader until charges are brought against him for crimes against humanity.
Peace will come to Syria. It could come soon if the Assad hindrance is removed. Attempts by Assad and his protectors to prolong his rule in Damascus will deepen the humanitarian tragedy of the Syrian war. For the sake of stability and the lives of thousands of Syrian children, the International community has the humanitarian responsibility to secure an Assad-free peace in the Levant.