Wednesday 16th Jan 2019
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The Civil War in Syria

Editorial

The ongoing civil war in Syria is worsening every passing day. The situation is indeed complex. It has turned devastatingly epochal with the support of Hezbollah and Iran to the despotic Bashar al-Assad regime. Human rights groups, which carry out specific body counts of Assad’s victims, say about 93,000 civilians have been killed in two years and three months of the war. This figure includes 6561 children of whom 1761 were less than 10 years old. They also allege Assad’s men having raped thousands of Muslim women; even children have been tortured.

US President Barack Obama announced that the US will arm the Syrian freedom fighters because 150 people have been killed in chemical warfare by Assad’s Alawite forces. The hypocrisy of the United States and other global powers becomes evident when we see that the loss of 93,000 innocent lives did not move them but the killing of 150 people in chemical weapons attack has made them to act. However, the United States has not mentioned when and what types of weapons will be supplied to the Syrian fighters. Even if they supply heavy weapons needed to break the tanks and shoot down planes of the Assad regime in civilian areas, these weapons are likely to land in the hands of the secular groups, not Islamic groups who are very much effective in the region.

Scholars are arguing whether international or sectarian factors are creating havoc in this country. The situation over there is so highly complex and severely alarming that no one factor can be held responsible for this chaos and anarchy. That global powers have their own vested interests in this conflict and they are not going to mull any humanitarian considerations is quite evident. They have done this more often than not in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere as well. Equally true is the fact that the intervention of Hezbollah and Iran in the Sunni majority country has contributed a lot to the sectarian divide in the region.

The solution lies in considering the humanitarian angle in the conflict. Killing and bloodshed must come to an end and Bashar al-Assad must go. It is an open secret that the western powers will not help resolve the conflict without serving their vested interests. But at least Hezbollah and Iran, in the name of one kalmia, one book and one Deen, must keep from fishing in the troubled waters of Syria by withdrawing their troops from the strategic points in the country. Egypt has severed diplomatic ties with Syria. In view of the war crimes of the Assad regime, this is a welcome move and all other Arab countries ought to follow suit. 



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