EDITORIAL: Syria is bleeding to death
Last Friday was the second anniversary of the uprising in Syria and is a brutal reminder of the impotence the entire world has shown in resolving a conflict that has wrought destruction on one of the Arab world’s leading countries.
It is reported that about one million Syrians are displaced, while 1.5 million refugees have streamed across the country’s borders in search of safe haven. Even the figure of 80 000 people killed probably understates the magnitude of the calamity, as thousands remain missing and/or suffering debilitating injuries.
Based on traditional and social media, words cannot describe the enormity of the situation in Syria. It seems like the United Nations has been unable to sort out Syria’s mess after several failed attempts to negotiate with President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.
On the second anniversary of the Syrian resistance movement, several vigils were organised worldwide, including in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and Jordan’s capital, Amman, where children gathered in front of the Cidatel as part of an event organised by Save the Children.
The gathering in Amman was intended to highlight the plight of the Syrian children, who have been badly affected by the fighting. Recent reports have claimed that child soldiers are being recruited by the rebels and the government to fight the war that has reduced much of the country to ruins.
While most countries are silently watching Syria’s destruction from the margins, the European Union is, however, now seriously considering lifting the arms embargo on Syria and supplying rebels with weaponry in an effort to defeat Assad’s regime.
If the embargo is lifted, the rebels will definitely have a stronger chance of defeating the regime, which, according to observers and world leaders, is being buttressed by Russian military assistance.
As attractive as its seems, we believe arming the rebel groups – many with Islamist leanings – would escalate the suffering and could definitely interfere with the now fading hope of an orderly democratic transition led by moderate politicians in Syria.
Since favouring the rebels can subsequently have adverse consequences, Syria is a tricky case for Western powers and the Middle Eastern nations. But it’s time for the major powers to take concrete action to bring an end to this bloody conflict. Otherwise, Syria will just bleed to death – literally.
A solution must be hammered out among Syrians and should not be imposed from outside. The example of Iraq shows the ugly phenomenon of sectarianism that has been unleashed by the conflict there, with profoundly dangerous repercussions for future generations of Syrians.