Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The Carnage and Sufferings in Syria


The Carnage and Sufferings in Syria

The flagrant violation of human rights and unmitigated violence and bloodshed in Syria will outrage the human conscience. The civilian casualties mushroomed on a large scale as a result of indiscriminate killings. Since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011, more than five years old has caused the migration of some three million people in addition to tens of thousands having been internally displaced. In terms of human suffering and misery, it has been and remains one of the most horrendous conflicts of modern times as more than 310,000 people have been killed.
Aleppo, one of the Syrian’s highly vulnerable cities, has been devastated in a relentless conflict. Its heritage and civilization have been wiped out. Thousands have been killed while countless others have been maimed, crippled for life in one of the most brutal and senseless factional fighting that recognized no rules and was constrained by no regard to lives of innocent civilians. The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group have attacked, killed, destroyed with impunity every object; building, houses, mosques, temples, schools, hospitals and whatever came their way with impunity.
Many rebels and civilians who were pushed out of Aleppo city during a massive government offensive late last year resettled in Azaz. At least 43 people have been reportedly killed after a car bomb struck Syria’s northwestern city of Azaz. Dozens were also wounded in Saturday’s attack, which took place near a busy market and in front of a courthouse in the rebel-held town along Turkey’s border, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The attack was the latest in a string of bombings to hit Azaz, 16km south of the Turkish city of Kilis. The area is a stronghold of the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels involved in a major operation aimed at clearing the ISIL group from the border region.
To the west of Azaz, Syrian Kurdish forces have control of a swath of land, and they have often tried to advance towards the town, causing friction with Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters. To the east, opposition fighters backed by Turkey have been pushing back ISIL, gaining territory and advancing on the ISIL-stronghold of al-Bab further east. ISIL has frequently targeted rebel factions with bombings, including an attack in November that killed 25 civilians and opposition fighters in a car bomb on a rebel headquarters.
Saturday’s blast comes as a fragile ceasefire is being observed across much of Syria. The truce negotiated by Syria’s ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey does not include ISIL or the former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
The fall of Aleppo is not the end of the war in Syria. The forces that have been unleashed would not be subdued so soon. The question is what caused this war that inflicted heavy casualties?
History bears witness to the fact that whenever an established order, no matter how despicable that is – is destroyed with ulterior motives, a vacuum is created and to fill that vacuum many factions, forces driven by myriad considerations of lust, greed, tyranny, power, ideology, ethnicity move in to assert control and authority. This is what has been happening across North Africa and the wider Middle East in the wake of the so-called Arab spring. But the war in Syria and Iraq has more to do with another crucial – either deliberate or inadvertent miscalculation – the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The invasion was predicated on the wholly erroneous assumption that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that posed danger to peace and stability of the region. There was no concrete evidence of such imaginary weapons of mass destruction. Indeed none were found subsequently. The terrorist networks fished in the troubled waters and stoked ideological and sectarian wars – the ISIL stemmed from the same background to fuel militancy and widen the gap between Sunni and Shiite sects – which is a highly menacing project against the Islamic society being run by a mysterious hand.
The sufferings and carnage of civilians, including women and children, fill one with a strong sense of guilt and hatred. Life has turned too cheap and people are killed wholesale. Syria has been bleeding for years and will continue so if the ISIL group and the remnants of al-Qaeda are not eliminated. In other words, we witness the streams of blood being spilt and oozing from sliced-throats of men, women and children in the world where democracy, human rights and humanitarian law are debated hotly. The bombastic rhetoric about democracy makes one lose his/her trust in democracy – which has remained elusive for Syrian freedom fighters.
The venom spew forth by the ISIL fighters around the globe reveals the fact that the entire world is left at the mercy of terrorism. Therefore, the superpowers are involved in Syria’s war to adopt defensive mechanism. The world will have to combat terrorism – mainly the ISIL group, to stop violence and bloodshed and protect the rights and liberty of mankind since “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” and “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts.

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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