A Clash of Global Interests in Syria

syria photo

By Mohammad Azeemullah

The revolution in Syria was no different from those of uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

While the rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt were peaceful, the upheavals in Libya were militarily driven.

However, the essence of revolutions was the same everywhere…a revolt against repression and injustice, unemployment and inflation, and most importantly the lack of freedom.

In brief,  an endeavor for dignity and equality was the hallmark of collective struggle against the dictators in the region.

The outcome of revolutions in countries like Tunisia and Egypt inspired millions in Syria to take to the streets. But the Syrian government was quick to respond with lethal force.

Now the conflict in Syria has gone to the point of no return. The civil war is pushed into a devastating phase of mass slaughter and torture.

Villages and families have been wiped out. Cities no longer remain the dwelling of human soul. And streets are flooded with the blood of men, women and children.

The dance of death continues unabated every day and every moment. Sadly, all this is happening in the eyes of the civilized world. The Security Council is nothing but a mute spectator.

The Syrian uprising was genuine, like most of the Arab Spring, but now the voice of  public grievances against Assad regime is lost in the labyrinth of global politics.

Instead, the competing interests of super powers as to which country will control future Syria composes a new script to a three year bloody conflict.

In the ensuing drama of territorial supremacy between, Russia-China bloc on the one hand and USA, Britain and France on the other, the daily toll of war is the common people of Syria.

Syria is the last country in the resistance against American interests in the region. The bigger plot is to take on Iran.

American policy in the region is oil and gas-centric. They have control over hydrocarbons across the region.

Now, huge gas reserves, 1,450 cubic million feet, have been discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. Around 70% of these are within Syrian shores.

Such interests would be unable to control these reserves unless Syria is controlled. This is also part of the policy to isolate Russia which is supporting Assad regime.

Thus, a clash of global and regional interests is playing out in a war-torn country. This is no more a domestic and regional issue. This is, in fact, the beginning of another Cold War.

Meanwhile, the one body that could put an end to the conflict, the United Nations, finds itself neutered because of clashing interests in the Security Council. The result is a weak resolution.

The Arab league of countries is a failed union of diplomacy in the region…be it the case of Tunisia, Egypt or Libya.

They are a very weak union to bargain peace and change the dynamics in the region.

What is happening in Syria is beyond explanation.  With over 300,000 refugees to neighboring countries and a million internally displaced, the conflict in Syria is posing a grave humanitarian crisis.

The time is to go for a rare moment of accord between the government forces and the rebels. The war is never the end of the road. We have seen that in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Sectarian differences continue to impair the post-war peace harmony and disturb the cause.

Let all parties, the Sunnis which constitute most of the Syrian population and virtually the entire insurgency, the Allawis that rule Syria, the Shias and other religious minorities, propose a negotiated political settlement to the conflict.

If politics cannot not do enough to resolve the crisis, let a cause for humanity put an end to the fighting.  This may be the beginning of the end of the conflict.

Failing to attain peace in Syria will continue to cost the innocent lives who are actually caught in between the lines of fire by competing interests of major powers.

Categories: Civil War, Mohammad Azeemullah, Syria


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