Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Over 200 killed in a day and counting…. | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

A few days ago I wrote an article about the al-Assad regime’s massacres in Syria, entitled “100 killed in a day”. Today I am writing about “more than 200 killed in one day”, after the massacre in Khalidiya, Homs. How many will I be writing about in the future, as long as the tyrant of Damascus continues undeterred? And will the tyrant solely bear the responsibility of these massacres?

Since the launching of the Arab initiative, the tyrant’s forces have killed at least fifty people per day in Syria, sometimes a hundred. The al-Assad regime has lost its senses. When Bashar al-Assad learned that the Security Council was unable to reach a clear resolution against his regime and its crimes, primarily because of Russia, he believed that the time was right to deliver a knockout blow to the revolutionaries, in order to impose a reality on the ground that would make it difficult for the international community to adopt any kind of enforceable decision. Therefore, his forces did not hesitate to undertake a massacre in Khalidiya.

This is not a matter of analysis; rather it is fact. Al-Assad’s interior minister, and likewise his foreign minister, have both openly declared that the regime will pursue a security solution.

Of course, there is no difference between what al-Assad’s interior minister said, or [foreign minister] Walid Moallem, or before them what al-Assad himself expressed in a recent speech, and what was previously said by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi on the first day of the Libyan revolution, when he explicitly threatened the Libyans. Now we see the silence of the international community, the Russian defense of the al-Assad regime, and even the support of some Arabs, such as the personal representative of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was quoted as saying that the Arab League resorting to Security Council is proof that the Arab League charter is now “without ethics”. All this leaves us feeling little surprise that the al-Assad regime’s crimes continue – having now reached the extent whereby al-Assad’s forces prevent those under the age of 50 from attending Friday prayers in some Syrian cities – as long as the shameful international silence continues, along with the blatant Russian support!

Therefore, what is required today is that the Arab states, not least the Gulf States, take actual, practical decisions that are long overdue. Those decisions should include the expulsion of all al-Assad regime ambassadors from their territories immediately, recognition and support for the Syrian National Council (SNC), and the immediate launch of shuttle diplomacy trips. We should see Gulf officials touring active Western capitals to ensure a genuine UN resolution, under [United Nations Charter] Chapter VII. Thus, if [Qatari Prime Minister] Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said in Cairo that the movement against Gaddafi was necessitated by his son’s statement threatening to burn Benghazi, then the situation in Syria now is worse. Al-Assad has threatened the Syrians himself, as have his interior and foreign ministers, when they openly declared the move to impose a security solution and “cleanse Syria”. So what are the Arabs and the international community waiting for then? Here I am talking about the Arabs in particular, for it is unacceptable to see Hillary Clinton moving to pass a resolution – albeit unsuccessfully – against al-Assad, whilst the Arabs idly stand by!

Now we must expel al-Assad’s ambassadors, recognize the SNC, and move immediately, internationally, to protect the Syrians from the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.