Should governments and international institutions prematurely encourage returns, refugees may feel pressured or forced to return to an environment that they do not have sufficient information about or that may end up being unsafe, unstable, or even life-threatening for them—raising serious moral and international legal considerations.
As fighting in Syria becomes localized to only a few areas and the Syrian regime works alongside its Russian ally to send a message that the war has come to an end, it is likely that countries and businesses may increasingly begin to normalize relations with the Syrian regime.
Idlib’s civil society and governance structures are threatened by the potential resurgence of conflict, which has been kept at bay via a tenuous ceasefire negotiated in September 2018, the deterioration of which may result in humanitarian disaster and give rise to a new wave of jihadist activity.
The strikes on Syria by the U.S., France, and the U.K. will make it less likely for its regime to use chemical weapons. They also represent a setback for Iran.