Syria’s opposition frustrated by its reluctant ‘allies’
Jihadis would be eclipsed by Assad removal
From the American perspective, there is hardly a more contradictory policy. But here also we have precedents. Washington had toppled the Iraqi regime in 2003, and Iran reaped the results; then it abolished the Iraqi state and the nihilist groups of al-Qaeda were the beneficiaries. Now, preventing the fall of a regime grappling with a revolution benefits only the friends of the regime.
Russia is determinedly returning to the international arena, making itself a compulsory address in international interactions concerning Syria. Moreover, Iran is installing its lines of defence far from its borders, in the heart of our torn country while its own files, including the nuclear one, recede from international focus.
Jihadists are also among the beneficiaries. Are they among the regime friends? Perhaps not. But surely they are among the enemies of the revolution, as many events have shown in the last few weeks.
The tragic losers in this dynamic are the Syrian people, in addition to Syria the country and state. More than 120,000 Syrians are dead, one-third are displaced, a quarter of buildings are destroyed and nearly 100 per cent of people are without hope.
As much as I can gather from my personal follow-up, a new beginning without Assad – along with the return of public services and the appearance of signs of a new state in the country – will have immediate effects on the jihadists, who in reality are more threadbare and less cohesive than the impression from afar portrays them.
Only what is good against the Assad regime is beneficial against the extremist jihadis; it is not true that what is good for the jihadis is bad for the regime.
Deprived of victory
What is true is that what is good for the revolution, the Free Syrian Army and the democratic activists inside and outside of the country, is bad for the regime and the jihadis.
Our conditions were hard for the second half of the past 30 months because the big actors engineered the survival of the regime from behind the curtain, thus preventing us from achieving our goal and depriving us of our cause.
As Syrians engaged in the revolution, we know very well that we cannot tell the Americans, and the west in general, to leave us alone.
However, we can say in the name of justice, freedom, and human dignity, the values that drive our revolution: help us achieve the immediate goal of this revolution – getting rid of this infamous public killer in the ancient homeland of the alphabet.
Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a Syrian writer and a former political prisoner, who has been in hiding in Syria since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.