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by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
What we have seen in the ground are the manifestations of different interests being carried out by the opposition forces and government forces who served as competing proxies of the two blocks being identified above. The competing interests of external actors have become apparent both at the UNSC, regional organization such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and through official pronouncements of the United States, Russia, China, Iran, GCC and Turkey.
What is happening now in Syria is a continuation of a political and geostrategic battle on one hand between the permanent members of the UNSC vis –a- vis their regional interests and between the Basher’s regime against the fragmented government opposition groups on the other hand. It is also a battle for Iran to maintain its ally in Syria and preserve its status as a regional power. In addition, it is an opportunity for Turkey to project itself as a regional power in the region and reasserts its role as a hybrid link between the Middle East and the West. Each international and regional state-actors involved in Syria have played a dangerous game that would transform the political landscape of the Middle East region to an unknown direction. Each state guided by their strategic interests would love to see their share of influence in future of the Middle East. Instead of focusing on issues such as providing relief goods to Syrian civilian casualties and refugees, many efforts were focused on political and geostrategic concerns. Within this concern, nothing could be a best alternative to diplomacy. Even in the absence of development after many months of conflict, the world, especially contending powers should not overruled diplomacy and negotiation in favor of political and strategic interests of some actors involved. Giving signals to other states to sell arms to either parties in conflict may not only encourage the prolongation of the conflict and loss of lives and properties but may also demeaning our ethical and moral responsibilities not just as members of the international community but most especially as members of human race.
*Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr is an Assistant Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Tehran, a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Shahid Behesti, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran and Bachelor of Science in International Relations at the King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies, Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Philippines.
|Another massacre in Syria: click on image to view video|
In less than a month, peaceful Tunisian and Egyptian protesters ousted two of the most authoritarian rulers of the Arab world. The human and economic costs: a total of about 1100 people dead (300 in Tunisia and 800 in Egypt) and some decline in economic growth. These were the dignity revolutions. In contrast, the Syrian peaceful uprising quickly turning into armed rebellion is now 22 months old with over 60,000 people (civilians, rebels, security and military officers, women and children) dead, more than 4,000,000 persons displaced from their homes, and destruction estimated at $70 billion. This is now, without doubt, an ideological/sectarian civil war. Short of a genocidal outcome, the only path to peace is that which relies on reconciliation and dialogue. There can be no preconditions because all sides have blood on their hands at this point. This reality, and the staggering numbers cataloging death and destruction might, forces all sides to reassess their previously held positions. Ideologues who wanted to bend the path of a legitimate peaceful revolution to meet their narrow political and sectarian ends can no longer ignore this reality and the state of the country. The fast emerging developments support these hypotheses.