As new U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen prepares to assume his position on January 7, it is an opportune time to revisit the Syrian constitutional drafting effort and its role within the larger Syrian peace process. The constitutional committee was a central goal of Pedersen’s predecessor, Staffan de Mistura, who announced his resignation as the U.N.’s Syria Envoy in October.
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On June 30, 2016, the United Nations announced that after having accessed two blockaded towns near Damascus, it had finally delivered aid to all areas under siege in Syria. For the starving populations of Zamalka and Irbin, a single aid convoy was little consolation. Since the fall of 2012, as many as one million Syrians have been victims of one of counter-insurgency’s most brutal tactics: siege warfare.
Editor's Note: Russia won in Syria – or so Putin would like us to believe. The Russian intervention seemed to tip the balance of forces in Assad's favor, and Russia announced a pullout with its mission accomplished. Carol Saivetz of MIT, a regular Lawfare contributor, makes the case for skepticism. She points out Moscow is far more involved in Syria than it likes to admit and still runs many risks from its intervention.