Crisis Outline – Security Council

Crisis Outline – Security Council

Analysis
The Arab Spring in Syria was slow to start, but has grown out to be one of the most persistent in the Arab world. Protests organized from early February onwards have challenged the regime from the country’s periphery, yet Damascus has also been among the cities affected. Anti-regime protests originated from the largely conservative Sunni southwest towards the Kurdish northeast, the coastal Latakia region (Alawites) and the provincial strongholds of Hama, Homs and Aleppo. The regime is currently able to survive the revolutionary tide as it relies heavily on the inability of the Syrian opposition to provide a sustained platform of change. On top of that, it has successfully outmaneuvered both liberal and religious currents of the revolutionaries with its policy of divide and rule and it continues to appeal to a large segment of the urban middle class. In terms of international pressure, Bashar al-Assad is in a much more favorable position than Qaddafi in Libya. Important stake holders recognize the threat of jihadist extremism which, if allowed to foment in Syria, would threaten the entire region, including western-allied countries Jordan, Iraq and the volatile sectarian balance in Lebanon. Support for the Syrian regime should be sought most strongly in the camps of Russia and China, but an upset domestic scene in Syria would also mean trouble for the United States and Israel. Even still, it is to be expected that the Russian-Syrian connection is much more stronger than the relations with western countries. As of yet, we cannot predict to what extent western countries are able to remain silent about the oppression of the Arab Spring in Syria.

Set-up
The aim of the following crisis will be to implicate several participants in the SC in the unfolding crisis in Syria. The crisis will be marked by three different stages and a possible fourth if time permits. The Council will need to pass at least one communiqué to the outside world and at least one resolution on the crisis topic. This can be strongly worded or can be a weak declaration depending on the preference of the delegates. Each of the stages will be marked by a news broadcast (to be put together during the first days of TEIMUN) as well as a news paper article, prepared in advance of TEIMUN, for the convenience of the delegates. Stages of the crisis:

Introduction of the crisis: Syrian troop movements along Syrian-Turkish border cause a massive influx of displaced refugees. Erdogan government calls for international mediation and condemns the shooting of unarmed demonstrators, particularly those atrocities conducted by Maher Al Assad - one of the commanders of the Syrian Republican Guard – which Erdogan singles out to be “international crimes” (reference to the possibility of ICC referral).

Internationalization of the conflict: Reports on the participation of Byelorussian mercenaries in the ongoing street fights in Hama, possibly entertained with Russian consent and or financial assistance. Anti-regime riots in Hama turning more violently, possibility of a repetition of 1982 (city leveled to flush out anti-regime protests by Bashar al Assad’s father). Russian President Putin expresses firm commitment in the resolve of the Syrian government to contain “terrorist agitation”. Syrian regime also endorsed by the Islamic Republic. EU severs ties within EUROMED.

Solutions: Bashar al Assad promises civil and political reform under the guidance of the Ba’th Party, condemns Israel “for interfering in domestic affairs”. Medvedev rebalances Russian FP “assuring international community of the continued Russian resolve to monitor any misconduct in Syria” and support is never unconditional” (possibility to streamline opinion in Council). Stronger Iran-Syria axis allows for stronger Council resolution.