Prioritize an end to war in Syria

Daily Editorial Board

With more than 250,000 people dead in the Syrian civil war and millions more displaced, it’s time for peace talks to move forward. Last week, the United Nations formally began its campaign to end the Syrian civil war by proposing a forum for peaceful dialogue between opposition leaders and Syrian President Bashar Assad. 
 
 
The High Negotiations Committee, an umbrella group that represents many of the factions in opposition to the Syrian government, has argued that a humanitarian response — including an end to sieges and the bombing of civilians — is a precondition for them to come to the negotiating table with the Assad regime. 
 
 
The Assad regime, meanwhile, has perpetuated the mistrust directed at the opposition, accusing its leaders of lacking commitment to peace and meaningful negotiations. 
 
 
While the world must hold the Assad regime accountable for its atrocious human rights violations, it should take care not to glorify the opposition, either. One of the biggest concerns with this war is the disarray it has brought forth. Even if Assad were to step down from power, it is very unlikely that the fighting in Syria would stop. 
 
 
For this reason, we urge the U.N. to hold the Syrian opposition accountable for making plans to foster long-term peace and stability in the region. A cooperative plan to stability is a prerequisite to peace in Syria, and it will remain unaccomplished unless all opposition forces are on board.