RIYADH – No issue in the world today is of greater immediate importance than the need to end the civil war in Syria. The past two and a half years have been a disaster for peace, stability, and our sense of common humanity. Gut-wrenching images of unspeakable, indiscriminate violence against civilians have shocked the world. According to the latest United Nations estimates, more than 100,000 Syrians, including many children, have lost their lives as a result of the criminal behavior of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
There are now more than two million Syrian refugees in bordering countries and more than four million displaced persons inside Syria. With the murder of peaceful protesters, the shelling of residential quarters, the execution of soldiers who refuse to fire on their countrymen, and the use of chemical weapons, a picture has emerged of a regime that is systematically defying the most basic international moral and legal standards.