Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Action and Reaction in Syria

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Action and Reaction in Syria

The Syrian unrest is drawing the world’s attention for getting highly catastrophic nowadays and the great concern is the vulnerability of women and children. The rising fatality rate meets unkindness; however, crocodile tear is shed, every now and then, by the so-called humanitarians whereas no serious action is taken to cease the violence. The alleged chemical attack put some of the world’s politicians in rage that may result in serious reaction but I hope that international community will stop the world from using the current chaotic situation of Syria for the advantages of their own countries any more.

The disgraceful humanitarian calamity, forced Syrian civilians to seek sanctuary in the neighboring countries, and mostly hosted by Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Reports show that more than two million refugees have fled Syria’s war and on average, almost 5,000 people take refuge in Syria’s neighbors every day and the number of people displaced inside Syria is around 4.25m. Syria’s uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has turned into an increasingly sectarian civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people. The alleged chemical attack on east and southwest of Damascus, on August 21, took hundreds of people’s lives including women and children which was followed by the world’s condemnation.  

The Syria’s long-term civil war lacked basic moral code and both the Free Syrian Army and opposition groups committed human rights violations repeatedly. The reports released the vast majority of human rights violations documented in Syria, including numerous international crimes, have been committed by the Syrian military and security forces and their allied militia. Moreover, the UN has accused them of human rights abuses including unlawful killing, torture, kidnapping, and the use of children in dangerous non-combat roles. For example, a video documented a teenage boy executing a prisoner by cutting his throat with a machete. According to reports, the Syrian army have many times burned and buried alive their military and civilian detainees, including children. In addition, several women’s-rights organizations have accused the Syrian army of using rape as a weapon of war. Women in the Syrian government’s prisons are repeatedly raped and beaten, and many times tortured sexually. On 14th January 2013, the International Rescue Committee released a report stating many refugees flee Syria due to a widespread fear of rape.

On the other hand, the opposition came under criticism after a video was uploaded to YouTube of an opposition soldier eating the heart of a dead Syrian army soldier. The perpetrator called his act a revenge for abuse of civilians, which was allegedly recorded on the dead soldier’s cell phone. In short, the tragedies and gross violence chill one to the bone.

Perhaps, this time the allegedly chemical attack was the deadliest one which has drawn the strong condemnation from around the world (and the countries like, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Uganda, Poland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium and Canada are among the many countries that have denounced the attack, in addition to several prominent international organizations) and the attack is, possibly, about to face military action, as a reaction, from American President, Mr. Obama.  In other words, it was neither the first chemical attack nor the first massacre in Syria; as a result, the UN received reports of at least 10 instances of chemical weapons use in Syria between December 2012 and May 2013. Moreover, numerous deadly massacres were carried out, during the war, by the Syrian government and Shabiha, such as the massacres of Houla, Khalidya, Tremseh, Khan Sheikhoun, Aleppo, Darraya, Baniyas and Bayda.

President Obama asked for the congressional agreement to launch a limited military action in Syria and the reports show that US senators have agreed backing the use of US military force in Syria and France has strongly backed the US plan. Meanwhile, the latest opinion poll shows public opposition to involvement in the Syrian conflict is growing, with six out of 10 Americans against missile strikes and lawmakers also divided, the reports add.

The outcome of the US military action leads one to state of confusion and there are analyses pro and against the US plan. To be more exact, analyses predict further turmoil and civilians’ casualties, whereas some others agree upon as a punitive reaction.

Of course, the chemical attack wreaked havoc and added to the civilians’ casualty toll, the question is that how the world will respond to the terrible political blunder of the Syrian government? While France, along with the United States, is pushing for military action against the Assad regime, a poll at the weekend showed that 64% of French people were opposed to a military intervention. Secondly, what is the guarantee that military action will bring security and it won’t be a repetition of the blunder? It is believed that the situation will deteriorate through military action, and the world can think of a better solution to save the human lives and honors instead of shedding further blood.

If the neighboring countries did not interfere in the Syrian crisis, they would not be experiencing the current situation. The involvement of many countries along with the Islamist rebels lengthened the crisis and the pro-government and anti-government were supporting the war in one way or another. I do not deny talking about ifs and buts; however, there is still the matter of the countries involvement who are considering their own pros and cons regardless of risking people’s lives every day.

Sometimes, I believe that Syria is more a ground for political maneuver of the other countries than a civil war between Syria government and its people. That is why they are arming rebels; fueling sectarian violence, etc. and therefore, none of them want to lose even in the worst-case scenario, jockeying to become the hero. So, losing this game does not necessarily belong to Syria but also to many more countries which are supporting the players.

It is believed that international community is highly responsible for playing the role of a viewer rather than taking serious action to cease the crisis or at least to prevent the interference of the outsiders in the issue. Still it is not too late for the international community to play its role actively so as to stop the outsiders’ involvement and further bloodshed.

Hujjatullah Zia is an emerging writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com .

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