German and British leadership deciding to refrain from a military intervention in Syria, is evidence of a rift between the US and its NATO allies on a joint strategy. A wise decision, it may likely have been informed by the catastrophic results of previous adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, this does not completely rule out the possibility of a US attack, as pressure grows on the Western world to offer a solution to the ‘Syrian problem’.
While the USA, KSA and Qatar offer assistance to the Free Syrian Army, Bashar al-Assad continues to enjoy support from Russia, China and Iran. As Russia and the US move their war ships close to Syria, an escalation in the crisis becomes unavoidable.
Driven from both sides by insatiable political ambition, cloaked in religious motivation, the bloody civil war in Syria has forced over a million refugees to flee their country in fear of their lives. As Assad’s tanks open fire, and the FSA continues its onslaught on several Syrian cities, the voice of the Syrian people dulls in the background.
The FSA, originally formed by the defected Syrian Army personnel, now comprises of various jihadist outfits, including Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, at war with the US and its allies in some parts of the globe, but being aided by them in Syria. Contrary to the one-sided view being propagated by the international press, the rebel forces cannot be described simply as a group of a few good men fighting an oppressive regime.
There have been several reports that point to the atrocities committed by the FSA against minorities, especially the Christian community in Aleppo, which has been forced to pick up arms to defend itself against the attacks from the rebels. The ultra-conservative mindset of the rebel fighters is put on show by the chants of “Alawites to the graves, Christians to Beirut” as they attack churches and kill with impunity.
The Syrian crisis is a complex phenomenon. A one-dimensional solution simply cannot deliver. The people of Syria find themselves being forced to pick sides between two forces sworn to fight till the very end. Through their conduct during the civil war alone, it is clear that there is a famine of capable and responsible leadership in the war-torn country.
A minus-Assad Syria does not equate to a prosperous and peaceful Syria. It is evident from the experiment in Iraq that a regime change alone is not sufficient to restore stability in the region. While the leaders of the world indulge themselves in scheming and strategizing, the people of Syria continue to fall victims to the horrendous war, waiting to be heard, hoping for an end to their miseries.