Arm the Syrian Opposition Now! A Message To All The "Friends Of The Syrian People"


19 Feb 2012

By Tariq Alhomayed

This is a message to all the "friends of the Syrian people" to call on them to arm the Syrian opposition…and arm them now! Don't stop at saying that arming the Syrian opposition is one of the options, for now is not the time for rebuking China, as US president [Barack Obama] did yesterday, nor is it time to investigate the Russian "price", rather it is time to stop the al-Assad aggression, and this is something that will only be achieved by arming the Syrian opposition, particularly as nobody intends to intervene to stop the al-Assad killing machine.

Homs is being mercilessly bombarded by the forces of the tyrant of Damascus for the eleventh day in a row; indeed it is not just Homs that is facing such aggression, but also Hama and Idlib, whilst yesterday even areas of Damascus were suppressed by regiments of soldiers. This is not to mention the killings taking place in Aleppo, which is something that the media has failed to pay any attention to. Arming the Syrian opposition is now a critical demand, not to ignite a civil war in Syria, but in order to protect the country's unarmed civilians. This is because war has already broken out in Syria, and it is the al-Assad regime that has ignited this war over the past 11 months, resulting in the deaths of approximately eight thousand Syrians, not to mention thousands more being injured and displaced. So what is the world waiting for? The concerned states are well aware that last week the al-Assad regime announced that it would crush the revolution before Saturday, and this deadline passed without the al-Assad regime succeeding in this; whilst today Damascus is saying that it needs an additional four days to achieve this. It is clear that the al-Assad regime is incapable of crushing the revolution, and so the tyrant of Damascus is utilizing all his military capabilities to destroy Homs, repeat the Hama massacre, and suppress other Syrian cities; therefore what is the world waiting for?

It is therefore up to the friends of the Syrian people today to directly arm the Syrian opposition. The Free Syrian Army [FSA], for example, is a part of the opposition, and is in dire need of arms in order to confront the violence being carried out by the tyrant of Damascus; arming the opposition will aid the Syrian soldiers who have defected from the regime, for their defection means nothing unless they have arms. It is also absurd to say that there is no Benghazi in Syria to allow the Syrian revolutionaries to receive arms, for this is simply not true; Homs has been liberated, which is why it is surrounded and being bombarded today, and the same applies to Zabadani and other areas of the country. However nobody has rushed to rescue the Syrians with arms as occurred in Libya, where the opposition was armed by the West and via "mediators", in order to avoid legal problems with some Western states.

Therefore, now is not the time for talking about unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition, rather it is time to arm the opposition, and for a very simple reason, namely that the al-Assad aggression against unarmed civilians is today more brutal than at any time before, and the Syrian people are now being killed in cold-blood, including children and the elderly, whilst the world is unfortunately standing back and watching this! As for those who are talking about their fears of "foreign intervention", they are ignoring the fact that this has already happened, for how else would you describe Iran supporting al-Assad with arms and men, Hezbollah colluding with the tyrant of Damascus, and Moscow playing the role of international negotiator for al-Assad? Isn't this foreign intervention?

In conclusion, everybody who is concerned about Syria, amongst the Arabs and the West, must begin arming the Syrian opposition sooner, rather than later.

 

Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, the youngest person to be appointed that position. He holds a BA degree in Media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, and has also completed his Introductory courses towards a Master's degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. He is based in London. 

 

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