Syria’s opposition frustrated by its reluctant ‘allies’
Jihadis would be eclipsed by Assad removal
Members of the “Liwaa al-Sultan Mrad” brigade, operating under the Free Syrian Army, sit together as they rest in Aleppo – “Defeating the regime was actually possible until the first months of this year.”PHOTOGRAPH: REUTERS/MOLHEM BARAKAT
We are being killed, help us! The Syrian revolution erupted from the hopeful aspirations of the Arab Spring, a wave of revolutions in many Arab countries that have sought to rid the region of our oppressive tyrants.
From the beginning, those Syrians who marched for freedom were confronted with violence, repressive brutality at first, then an open war that reached its apex last month with the dastardly use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians.
The regime’s murderous efforts have been bolstered by sincere support from its allies – financial, strategic support and manpower from Iran, military and diplomatic backing from Russia. In contrast, the Syrian resistance has thus far received only limited support from the Friends of Syria – a group of Arab, western and other states which were supposedly formed to be a legal international framework to support those Syrians who are being persecuted by their own government.
These Syrians have called many times for international assistance since the summer of 2011, even before they were forced to resort to arms for survival, and before a single Jihadi group was heard of.
However, these “friends” did not respond to the increasingly desperate pleas for help.
Since the beginning of 2012, the struggle inside Syria has become frozen in a regional and international war by proxy: friends of the regime, Russia, Iran and Hizbullah, are doing their best to ensure a decisive victory of the Assad regime over the revolutionaries, while “our friends” are not helping the revolution to defeat its enemy.
The conservative statist logic of the western and Arab parties prefers a continuation of the Syrian regime which retains its active military and police powers, in order to confront what they consider potential security dangers to their interests and to “stability in the region”. These powers have thus far chosen the devil they know.
What I want to say is it is untrue that the great powers are radically divided on the Syrian conflict. Nor is it true that this division is what ensures a wide margin for the regime to manoeuvre and assist its ability to murder its subjects for the past 915 days.
What is true is that on one side you have those who want the regime to stay, and on the other you have those who do not want to see it leave. The latter side, the United States – and Israel behind the curtain – has intervened to restrict regional and international forces from substantially helping the Syrian resistance.
Defeating the regime was actually possible until the first months of this year, when all that the Syrian resistance needed was anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry. And they could have perfectly completed the mission, without any direct military intervention from outside powers. Only four months ago, Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah chief, claimed the rebels could have celebrated their victory in Damascus were it not for his militia’s intervention.
The desire of our friends to maintain the untenable status quo has turned the struggle inside Syria into an unending conflict, with vast destruction of the economy, the undermining of the social fabric and the senseless loss of tens of thousands of lives. This increasingly unstable and war-torn environment is the ideal breeding ground for the emergence of radical jihadists, as all precedents testify.