Aleppo and the International Farce
09 August 2016
By Tariq Alhomayed
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.
Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr.
Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current
affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous
positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the
first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a
bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah.
He is based in London.