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Cease the killing - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It seems that every Arab, Western, or even UN official, including joint UN-Arab league envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, is saying: “The most important thing in Syria now is a ceasefire”. Yet this should cause observers and those concerned to be highly suspicious, and not expect anything practical or tangible to come from these efforts to deal with the plight of the uprising Syrian people at the hands of the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

It is not acceptable under any circumstances to say in the case of Syria: We must focus on achieving a ceasefire, because we must ensure that al-Assad stops killing the Syrian people for good. What is happening in Syria, plainly and simply, is that the repressive regime that dominates power there – in a country that claims to be governed by a “republican” political system – has been using warplanes, artillery and missiles in order to suppress the uprising for nearly 18 months. The people did not take up arms against the tyrant al-Assad and his gang in the early days of the revolution, as was the case in Libya; they did not even use Molotov cocktails. Rather it started out as a peaceful revolution that the al-Assad killing machine confronted with death and organized violence. This is not all, for since the outbreak of the revolution and up until today, the al-Assad regime has not put forth one soldier, let alone an officer, to stand trial for killing innocent human beings, committing abuses, and destroying the Syrian fabric as a whole, so how can anyone say that what is needed in Syria today is a ceasefire?

What is actually required is to stop al-Assad’s killing in Syria for good, and if an official actually said that then one would consider it a victory for the defenseless Syrian people, and believe that there are those looking out for the Syrian state and the protection of its social fabric. We should not try to portray al-Assad as one party and the rebels as another, as the Russian Foreign Minister is currently doing, especially when he says that demanding the al-Assad regime to initiate a ceasefire from its side only is naïve, and more like surrender! The real naivety is to justify the crimes of a regime like al-Assad’s that wants to rule through killings, injustice, abuse and the destruction of the country as a whole, rather than protecting civilians. As a result, the fabric of the Syrian state has become virtually impossible these days to maintain, let alone in the future. What the Syrians and the Arabs will remember for a long time is that Iran and Russia enabled Bashar al-Assad to kill the Syrian people and threaten the unity of the country as a whole.

In order not to expose the vulnerable Syrian people to further tricks, whether from some countries in the region or elsewhere, we must reject the term “ceasefire” in Syria. What is correct, and more accurate, is to put a definitive end to al-Assad killing defenseless Syrian people, especially as we hear al-Assad’s Minister of Information yesterday defining the conditions of Mr. Brahimi’s mission, and heaping insults and accusations on the countries of the region while al-Assad’s forces run riot without mercy, or any form of deterrent, in Syria.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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