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Where will Syria be after the war ends?
Four years into a civil war that has left a nation in chaos, the optimism of the Arab Spring is long gone. Unless a solution is reached, the Syrian exodus could inevitably become a population of the world a people without a home. - photo by Daniel Bendtsen
Europe is learning how to deal with migrants, but the world is no closer to stopping the war in Syria that has created the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

Unless a solution is reached, the Syrian exodus could inevitably become a population of the world a people without a home. Syria had a prewar population of 22 million, and an estimated 4 million have now left the country and nearly 8 million more are internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

The continuing violence will have ramifications for the world because, as The Washington Post reports, more refugees are on their way out and the flow is accelerating.

Syrians are piled up on the streets of the Turkish port city of Izmir waiting for a place on one of the flimsy boats that will ferry them across the sea to Greece, and they say they have friends and family following behind, The Post said.

It is as though all of Syria is emptying, a refugee told the newspaper.

The great exit from Syria is expected. Most hospitals in the country are no longer functional and most children aren't attending school.

Despite the violence, the U.N. is learning ways to work within the borders and has been reallocating more finances from its refugee work into the support of internally displaced people.

Rebuilding Syria may take decades, but foreign interest gives it some advantage over other recent war-torn countries. Many foreign investors have been preparing detailed reconstruction efforts for when the violence does end, according to The Boston Globe.

"Syrias national recovery will depend in large part on whether its industrial powerhouse Aleppo can bounce back," The Globe reported, noting that many in the region have strong feelings about restoring Aleppo, the country's largest city, after the fighting because its historical significance.

Jihad Yazigi, editor of The Syria Report, said an influx of capital won't be enough.

"At the end of the day, capital is easy to bring, but you need qualified people and expertise to run the country, and unfortunately, weve seen a huge outflow of the middle-class. Not to mention that we will have a generation of Syrians that will be illiterate," Yazigi said in an interview with Syria Deeply.

But before the world can adequately address the humanitarian crisis within Syria's borders, an end to the war will have to first be found.

The U.S. had initially hoped that President Bashar al-Assad would have fallen quickly, and nonradical rebel groups would remain to put together a new government. An Al Jazeera staff editorial argues that Syria is now so far removed from a political solution that the West should look to actions that reduce violence now, rather than counting on an ultimate victor.

The U.S. has pressure to intervene, but any action could put it in a proxy war with Russia, which has launched a bombing campaign against ISIS rebels. At this point, Assad may be the only option to lead a transitional government, but the West will be adamant that he cannot be part of the long-term picture.

Charles Lister of the Brookings Doha Center says it still could be possible for the opposition to emerge in a way that will lead to stability.

"Contrary to popular opinion, the Syrian armed opposition is not divided, but has, in fact, spent much of the past year focused on developing a clear and unified political vision," Lister wrote for the BBC.

Pete Weber of news magazine The Week argues the best U.S. strategy for peace would be to throw its full weight behind the Kurds in the region. The ethnic minority's already relatively stable control of land and the effective resistance against ISIS would simplify the Syrian war back to Assad vs. Syrian rebels.

If the U.S. wants a rare moment of positive feeling about its Mideast policy, Kurdistan would check a lot of boxes," Weber said.
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