Perpetuating or Breaking the Syrian Stalemate?

On October 4, 2018, TRT World Research Centre held a roundtable meeting on the Syrian crisis entitled “Perpetuating or Breaking the Syrian Stalemate.” This was part of a series of roundtable meetings forming part of the two-day TRT World Forum 2018, which included eight public sessions and 11 closed sessions. This roundtable meeting was held in English under the Chatham House Rule. This rule stipulates that ‘when a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.’ While the Syrian crisis has come to be characterised by political stalemate, hope for a viable solution remains. The United States, Russia and other global and regional actors have all attempted to occupy the moral high ground in defence of their various interventions. The US has justified their interventions against the Syrian regime on the basis of humanitarian intervention, while Russia has largely justified its actions on the basis of defending the sovereignty of the Syrian government and fighting terrorism, resulting in further entrenching of a stalemate in Syria. Additionally, a wide array of non-state and sub-state internal actors have been the part of the conflict under the umbrella justification of a ‘peaceful future’, showcasing the importance of civil society and armed opposition in determining war and peace. Taking into account external and internal actors in the Syrian case, this session aims to question the dynamics of perpetuating and breaking the Syrian stalemate in the context of external and internal factors impacting the Syrian crisis.