The human suffering brought by the four-year-old Syrian war underscores the urgency and the humane necessity to bring that conflict to a close and to restore to the children of the Levant their childhoods.
United Nations(UN) figures put the total dead at 220,000; total displaced at 11 million including 7.6 million internally and 3.9 million refugees; total in need of humanitarian assistance at 12.2 million including 5.6 million children; economic losses at $202 billion; and four of every five Syrians living in poverty.
If these numbers are not sufficient to force the conclusion of Bashar al Assad's war, then what is?
It was four years ago that the young people of Syrian demonstrated for democracy. At Deraa, in the south, these teenagers were answered with arrests, torture and death at the hands at Assad's forces. In 2013, more than five events of Assad's forces using chemical weapons on civilians were reported including at the Ghouta in three locations, where 421 children were among hundreds gassed to death by the Syrian regime.
Bashar al Assad's reign in Damascus has maintained the war which has also seen the rise of the Islamic State(IS) manned by many youths.
As the root of the Syrian crisis, Bashar al Assad cannot be a part of the future of the Levant if there is to be peace. He and his regime could play a part in negotiating a peace, but there will be no peace in Syria as long as Assad stays in power.
Thus, to win the peace in the Levant and to restore the childhoods of so many children and to curb extremism in the region, Bashar al Assad could simply sign his exit papers today and allow a national council to effect a peaceful transition in Syria.