Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A gigantic prison | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The UN-Arab League peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has received the al-Assad regime’s response to his six-point proposal, but he is yet to disclose the content of this response. Likewise, we do not know whether the reply this time came in a written form, or if it was a “no-paper” response, as the tyrant’s regime has done in the past, but nevertheless is this a cause for optimism as some believe?

I do not think so. Any regime that accuses the CNN television station of being behind the bombing of a pipeline in Syria cannot be relied on for any logical solutions; the al-Assad regime simply wants to buy time as usual. Now we see the al-Assad regime turning Syria into a mass prison, where those under the age of 42 are prevented from leaving the country. It seems that the tyrant’s prisons are now overflowing, and likewise the stadiums and schools where the Syrians are also being detained. The regime can no longer find any additional detention centers to suppress the Syrians, and so it has set out to transform Syria into one gigantic prison. How, after all this, can we rely on Mr. Annan’s mission?

Throughout the entire first year of the revolution, the al-Assad regime did not provide any evidence that it actually understood what was happening on the ground; the regime believed that murder and intimidation were the solutions. Thus there is no hope of the regime cooperating with Kofi Annan’s mission, described by Russia as the last chance before Syria descends into civil war. The reality is that there is a war already taking place on the ground, but it is not a civil war, it is a war being waged by a heavily-armed criminal regime, supported by Russia and Tehran, with the sole aim of suppressing the Syrians uprising against it. Thus we must not rely on Mr. Annan’s mission, and this is not because I am skeptical towards it, but rather because the al-Assad regime cannot meet its requirements. Nothing can bring a solution to Syria today except the departure of the al-Assad regime, anything other than this is a waste of time and lives, and endangers the future of Syria.

The al-Assad regime today does not seek to resolve the crisis, but rather to eliminate it with its security forces. However, it is not capable of doing so, despite the Free Syrian Army’s relatively weak arsenal of weapons. It is noticeable that every time the regime announces that it is in control of a Syrian city, we find that this city soon becomes the subject of shelling and bombardments, meaning that the regime has actually lost control of large parts of the country. Hence the al-Assad regime’s response is not important, and neither is what Moscow says, what is important here is what is happening on the ground, where the reality is taking shape and matters are being resolved.

We cannot rely on Annan’s mission when killings, shelling, starvation and humiliation are part of the Syrians’ daily life, and have been for more than an entire year. How can we rely on Annan’s mission when forced displacement continues in Homs, in a manner that makes the observer wonder whether this is the plan to organize the Alawite state that many are talking about?

Hence we can say that whether or not the al-Assad regime responded to Annan’s plan, this is all part of Bashar al-Assad’s process of buying time, and prolonging the Syrians’ suffering. Therefore, the best way to maintain the Syrian entity is to accelerate the departure of the tyrant of Damascus.