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Partners in bloodshed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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On the eve of the comments issued on Saturday by Hossein Taeb, head of the intelligence bureau of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, stating that it is Iran’s responsibility to support the al-Assad government and not to allow “the line of resistance to be broken”, Syria witnessed a horrific massacre committed by al-Assad’s forces claiming the lives of around 440 people, so what does this mean?

The answer is obvious; Iran is a partner in the bloodshed of unarmed Syrians. Tehran is supporting al-Assad, its most important agent in the region whose downfall would represent the collapse of the most significant supply line for the Iranian project in the region since the Khomeini revolution. The importance of this supply line is evidenced by nearly four decades of conspiring, arming and financing several Iranian projects whether in Lebanon or in Syria, whether in the media, cultural or economic domain. Therefore it is not surprising that the head of the intelligence bureau of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard says that Tehran must protect al-Assad, and it is also not surprising that the magnitude of al-Assad’s crimes have witnessed a significant increase. It is clear that the moment of al-Assad’s downfall is near, and hence we find that the Syrian regime has been driven to insanity. Likewise, Iranian maneuvers towards Syria now significantly outweigh Russian maneuvers, and Iran is now intending to launch a plot relating to Syria within the context of the Non-Aligned Movement summit agenda.

Therefore it is no surprise that Iran is supporting al-Assad, its most prominent agent, as his downfall would herald the collapse of the Iranian project in the region. Yet what is strange, and suspicious, is the international paralysis towards al-Assad’s crimes, especially as the international community is aware that al-Assad is approaching the moment of his downfall and that it is still possible to shorten the suffering of the Syrians and spare the Syrian state from total devastation and collapse. Yet the West, and first and foremost America, is doing little or nothing. What is required today is to arm the Syrian opposition with quality weaponry so that they can repel al-Assad’s planes and tanks. Furthermore, there is a need to move to impose a no-fly zone and safe areas within Syrian territory on the Turkish and Jordanian borders. There is no need to resort to the Security Council as long as the Russians and the Chinese intend to protect criminals; rather it is necessary to mobilize now through NATO and the Arab forces willing to participate in any way. The number of Free Syrian Army troops should not be underestimated; all they need is quality weaponry, no-fly zones and the imposition of safe areas. Whatever the cost of such steps, they will be much less than the cost of a sudden collapse in Syria, and it is the responsibility of the international community to protect the defenseless and ensure the social peace and security of the region as a whole. This can only be achieved with the overthrow of al-Assad, which is fast approaching and is just around the corner, and all that is required is the aforementioned steps. Then we will see major splits within the military establishment, which might force al-Assad himself to flee the country.

This will be less expensive than the state collapsing or the crisis being prolonged, and when I say “less expensive” I mean this from a humanitarian, security and political perspective. When al-Assad the Iranian is expelled from Syria, Tehran will revert back to its normal size and Syria, with all its religious and ethnic components, will return back to the Arab heartland after a prolonged absence in Persian orbit.

Therefore it is time for a triple maneuver: no-fly zones, safe areas and qualitative reinforcements for the Free Syrian Army.