As Syria enters its fifth year of warfare, the situation only keeps getting worse and worse.

Syria, a relatively small country in the Middle East that borders Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, and Israel, is embroiled in an immensely complex war that finds its roots in Syria’s history and foreign policy.

On the one hand, Syrians have had to endure almost 40 years of dictatorship, which inspired their participation in protests in 2011 to bring out positive reform and change.

However, the elongation of the Syrian conflict today is also very much linked to Syria’s history, foreign policy, and geopolitical position.

Where does this situation leave Syria and what does it mean for Syrians?

The pace at which the Syrian conflict is expanding suggests that the humanitarian crisis in Syria is worsening and will only continue to protract. Inside Syria, there is a severe degree of human and physical destruction, a depleted social and civic fabric, and a devastated economic foundation. Such conditions in Syria will only continue to push people out of the country, which also means that we can expect there to be more and more Syrian refugees.

Syrians want the war to end. Those that have attained refugee status want to return to their homes, and those that live inside Syria would like to live in peace without fearing that they will not make it through the next day.

Syrians wanted reform and positive change in 2011 but now all they want is some peace of mind and stability.

The Syrian civilian must be empowered as it is the Syrian who has the power to rebuild Syria.

The Syrian voice has been ignored amidst the sounds of fighting, but it is time that we listen to their cries and help them reintegrate peace into their country.

For more information on the historical and contemporary roots of the Syrian Conflict, please click here: Understanding the Syrian Conflict