Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Aleppo and the International Farce | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What is happening in Syria is a real international farce, especially the crimes being committed in Aleppo and in the surrounding areas. The United Nations, America and the west are witnesses to this farce. While Assad’s regime continues to besiege Aleppo with the support of Russia, the US Secretary of State makes statements that do not make sense. Washington wants to distance itself from the Syrian crisis!

After a Russian helicopter was shot down in Idlib and its crew killed, the US Secretary of State made statements demanding that the Russians, the Assad regime and the opposition restrain themselves. He also called for a week long truce in Aleppo! Kerry says that this is treating the murderer and the murdered equally! Kerry says this at a time when the town of Saraqeb, in which the Russian aircraft was shot down, is being attacked with toxic gas. Despite this, Kerry is calling on all parties to exercise restraint. Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations has not issued a statement or an expression of concern at the time of writing this article.

The farce does not stop there; there is now controversy between the Americans and the Russians about Washington’s military operations against ISIS in Libya. The Russian ambassador there said that the strikes are illegal and that they should have taken place with the permission of the Security Council. The question here is “Do the Russians have UN authorisation to carry out strikes in Syria and kill innocent people?” Does Iran have a UN resolution authorising it to send armed militias there and contributing to the killing of innocent people? The matter is indeed puzzling and demonstrates that the west, led by the United Nations and America, is not keen on ending the Syrian crisis and the suffering of the Syrians, even if Iran intervened by sending terrorist militias and is thereby deepening the sectarianism in Syria.

This is despite the fact that the Russians continue to kill innocent Syrians and Assad continues to use barrel bombs, attack hospitals and use toxic gasses. It is for this reason that we call the situation a farce. There will be serious consequences in the region and the west, and this waterfall of blood will sink everyone and increase sectarian hatred and terrorism.

The shooting of the Russian helicopter and the magnitude of the crimes committed by Assad and his supporters in Syria does not necessitate restraint. Rather, it necessitates the posing of serious questions that include “What has been gained from Russian intervention in Syria until now? What are the results of Iranian interference and their militias?” Nothing really; Assad is still weak, the opposition hasn’t been defeated and the crisis has not ended.

This means that it is now necessary to start finding practical solutions in order to attain political goals. The first of these steps is telling the Russians and the Iranians “So, you have tried everything and we have run out of patience with you. Now is the time to swallow the bitter cup. If you want war, this is its form and taste. If you want to take political action, then you can go to Geneva or any other place.”

As for Kerry’s statements, they indicate that the crisis will be prolonged and that the US President Obama is evading his failure in Syria. It is for this reason that he has deserted Syria and has moved his attention to military action in Libya whilst waiting for his presidency to end. This is why the situation in Syria can be described as an international farce.