SYRIAN QUAGMIRE

By Mahnoor Saleem

Syrian conflict isn’t new for this world, because of its seven year persistent contribution in the realist school of thought and global order; it is in fact the most talked about humanitarian, military and social crisis of our time. The pawns on ground have invested heavily in this war. Everyone is backing whatever faction he likes and supports with threatening ammunition and haunted weaponry, Syria today is more like bloody quagmire wrapped up in the wires of sophisticated time bomb. But from quite a while now, the winds in Damascus were conveniently calm due to the consistent victory of Bashar Al ’Asaad, he has successfully managed to win most of Syrian heartlands due to Russia’s and Iran’s loyalties. Whereas, since last year powers in west have been apparently restless, their representatives and office holders explain the anxiety in the shadows of ‘use of chemical weapons or warfare’ meanwhile the ground realities tell a tale in different context.

Following the last week’s chemical attack on the city of Douma by Syrian Army which is being led by President Asaad; United States and allies illuminated the skies of Damascus with their Friday night retaliatory strikes. Great Britain and France held hands together with their spiritual leader America, in order to respond collectively to this alleged and yet not investigated chemical attack. This is the second strike of its kind on the Syrian soil by United States. The very first one was launched last year by President Trump right after the horrendous chemical attack on khan sheikhoun. Meanwhile, certain arguments and questions are making these humanitarian interventions of allies and US, dubious.

Looking back into history, Iraq and Libya prevent international community to believe entirely upon what US endorses. In Iraq’s case it was Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) while in case of Libya it was a suspicious uprising in Benghazi. Today after all these years the international arena and community are nothing but guilty in regards to their stance on both crisis. It gave rise to militants and extremists like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It created a swear power vacuum which led to destabilizing entire regions and states particularly. Reviewing the cards drawn on tables at United Nations, one can’t deny that the pattern is repetitive. Whether it’s Somalia or Panama or current Syria; United States’ portfolio is filled with forced romanticism with humanitarian interventions, But for now one thing is certain that, the administrations in White House and their ability to deal with civil conflicts are mere rhetorical.

Moreover, the timing of US’s military response is also brewing controversies worldwide. For western allies opted to act exactly on the day, when initial team for inspection of chemical attack landed in Syria. Despite the fact that Russia has repeated its claims of collecting and examining soil samples of Douma, but as its requests fell on deaf ears; it allowed international community to run an investigation via proper channel and institution. Carrying out a strike prior to any international report and conclusion, point many fingers towards authenticity of allies’ action. Russian President and Asaad’s ally Vladimir Putin labeled this move as “cynically disregarded” towards the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon (OPCW). In addition to that, the current ongoing Turmoil at Gaza strip between Washington’s darling, Israel and peaceful protesters of Palestine also justifies United States’ eagerness towards initiating a strike. United States has acted in past in order to save Israel from global coercion and this time too nothing seems unnatural. The latest atrocities at border have wounded approximately 1000 protesters by the so called ‘moral army of the world’, and it has stirred subsequent squabbles. A war of words was waged around at social platforms and media outlets but the silence in the corridors of concerned institutions was sickening, and without any doubt US might have acted in order save its eye in Middle East. Having said that, the state of affairs in Palestine also raise myriad of queries upon the ‘selective humanitarian attitude’ of US towards mothers and father, children and infants dying in Syria while absolutely ignoring the deaths of people occurring due to Israel’s monstrosities.

In a nutshell, this miscalculated move led by US and allies will only contribute in perceiving stalemate situation in Syria, the demonstrations circulating around of internet by Syrian citizens and soldiers in support of Al ’Asaad is further nullifying every other United States’ desperate effort. The allegation of use of chemical weapon by Syria, at this time of war when Asaad can take over entire country in a matter of months without any pressing force, does not sound sane from any dimension. The need of the time is that United States start accepting its policy flaws and pulls itself out from global conflicts. Trump administration is trying to hit two birds with one stone, by curbing Iran and Russia by pressurizing them via Syria, as well as stealing attention away from Israel’s blatant brutalities. The realist school of thought might tell us that war is inevitable and bloodshed in eminent but the very school of ideas, suggest wise and calculated tactics and moves in times as desperate as now.

The writer is pursuing Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at National Defense University, Islamabad, she can be reached at Mahnoorsaleem712@gmail.com

About Arif Qureshi

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