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Though inspired by a UN initiative, Canada is running the show outside of the international body.
©UNICEF/ Syria 2017/ Al- Issa
Minority groups would be the biggest losers if a new civil war breaks out.
I was in Grade 8 when I was forced to leave school, after fighting started in my village in eastern rural Aleppo.
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Renewed fighting in the southern Syrian governorate of Dar'a forced children and their families out of their homes and into the wilderness. After six years of war in Syria, it has become commonplace for families living through cycles of intense violence and relative calm to seek shelter in agricultural fields until it is safe to return home.
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I'm tired of pacifists. I'm not going to be polite around them anymore. I'm not going to be accommodating in polite society and pretend that while I differ, I respect the pacifist opinion. I don't. Pacifists are wrong, and this is why. Pacifism tolerates, even abets, terrorism and fascism -- and the war and violence that come from them.
Let's be clear: while a sarin gas attack is a disgusting breach of international law and of humanity itself, in responding with military force outside of any formal war the United States has breached more international laws than the gas attack did. We should not be lulled into some sense that unilateral military action is OK.
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Continued violence and insecurity in Syria have driven 6.8 million people from their homes. Amid the severe deprivation and uncertainty that come with displacement, mothers like Nada, 28, draw on whatever support they can get to meet their children's basic needs while aspiring for a better future.
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Until all sieges across Syria are lifted, Madaya and the many other besieged areas just like it remain a two-sided reality aspiring for peace and normality. "We only need peace," a young man told me. "We need to feel safe and lead normal lives again."
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If only it were so easy. The leader of a war-torn Middle Eastern country commits an atrocity; the West removes him. Problem solved. At least, that's the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to see the future in Syria. The only problem is that Trudeau has forgotten the many other players who have a stake in what happens in Syria.
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"Canada is working with its allies to end the war in Syria and hold those responsible to account.''
We have a problem, rather, a preoccupation with power. It is human nature to want and crave it, but the ways we get it and keep it are usually inhumane. The simplest, most base feeling of power is that of physical might. The ability to defeat one's foes in combat.
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The prime minister called on the international community not to repeat the "terrible mistakes" of the past.
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It's not even clear if Trump wants regime change in Syria.
I write this with the crippling cries of a small child playing in my earphones, nerve gas choking him literally to death, his desperate rasping gasps for breath ringing in my ears and unnerving my insides, his agony repeating over and over in the background as a foaming espresso machine steams beside me at the counter.