By Latheef Farook
Moves are underway, perhaps under pressure from United States and Israel, by some Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to re-establish ties with the Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad who committed genocide of his own people, driven millions into refugee camps and turned Syria into a killing field.
However, there are deep divisions between the Arab dictators on how and when to rehabilitate Syria. Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan have apparently pushed back against plans by Saudi Arabia and the UAE for its rapid reinstallation at the Arab League which in fact is the League of pro US dictators.
In the past few weeks, Assad has been greeted in Oman and the United Arab Emirates while Syria’s foreign minister has been off to Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Jordan. The Saudis stressed that they were discussing “the return of Syria to its Arab fold”.
Sunni majority Syria rose up during the Arab uprising in May 2011 seeking basic human rights and freedom. All what they got were their cities, towns and villages bombed and destroyed, men ,women, children and the aged massacred, economy in ruins with an estimated loss exceeding around US Dollar 250 billion, modern infrastructure in shamble, livelihood wiped out, society dispersed, families torn apart with people fled in search of safety. Syria remains in ruin.
One after the other US, Britain, France and Russia bombed Syria. In September 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin began his ferocious airstrikes roasting and toasting Syrians. Amnesty International said that “Russia is guilty of some of the most egregious war crimes” in decades”.
Thus the four powers- US, Britain, France and Russia- used the most sophisticated and most destructive air power to commit heinous crimes on Syrian population. This only made Israel stronger and safe in the region.
It was Russia’s military involvement in Syria in 2015 that changed the course of the bloody civil war and forced its neighbors to begin thinking of a future that left Assad in place.
Assad went on to consolidate control over much of Syria, but Arab moves to restore ties accelerated after this February’s massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria – with the rush to bring in aid. Then came the China-brokered re-establishment of relations between regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia and its rival, Iran, which have supported opposing sides in the Syrian civil war.
Back in late 2011, many Arab states were clearly planning for a post-Assad era when Syria was censured and suspended by the 22-member Arab League. Hundreds of Syrians waved flags and chanted their support of that move, close to the League’s headquarters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Today Syrians feel let down by the new Arab overtures. Millions living in the remaining opposition-held pockets once viewed Saudi Arabia and other Arab states as allies in their struggle against Assad’s tyranny. They now find themselves more isolated.
Refugees, particularly in Lebanon and Turkey – where acceptance has dwindled in the light of economic crises – are increasingly worried about the risk of forced returns.
Turkey – which has been a main backer of Syrian armed opposition groups – has also been talking to Damascus. Almost all parties campaigning for its 14 May elections say they want to send Syrians home.
Syrians have been living under the tyranny of Assad family for more than five decades. They suffered in silence all brutalities of Assad and his father. Even during Arab Spring uprising people did not take to arms. They only demonstrated peacefully for political reforms which would guarantee their basic rights and dignity
In Syria though Sunni Muslims are more than three quarter of the population, 75 percent, they live as slaves as power remains in the hands of minority Shiites. Assad belongs to Aalwites, a branch of Shiites sect which is only around 15 percent.
Syrian civil war later became a proxy war between Syrian Alawite government supported by Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon supported and American, British, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatari armed and funded Sunni-led opposition against
Killing his own people is not something new to Assad and his father Hafiz Al Assad who turned the city of Hama into a virtual slaughter house in 1982. Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth operation against the town of Hama to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime. He massacred 40,000, displaced 100,000, arrested 60,000 and 15,000 disappeared-perhaps killed.
No Arab Muslim country accepted a Syrian refugee. They closed all their borders. As a result all went toward Christian Europe. This is the humanity and Islamic brotherhood of Gulf Bedouins
Following a decade of hostilities more than half the population of Syria fled their homes, with 6.6 million people currently internally displaced and 5.6 million refugees. Many Syrian children have lost a close relative or have a parent or sibling, and thousands have been orphaned or separated from their families in the chaos of war. Many have missed years of education, with 2.1 million children in Syria currently out of school.
Many Syrian children have never known a time without war. For millions of them, the conflict has stolen their childhood and affected their long-term physical and mental health as well as their prospects for the future. Many children caught up in this crisis have lost family members and friends to the violence, suffered physical and psychological trauma, and had to leave school.
It was under such atmosphere the Arab dictators are trying to reconcile with the very same Assad who was the architect of this carnage and sufferings. Israel has been doing its best to rehabilitate Assad and even arranged an audience with late Queen Elizabeth.
Commenting on the situation British writer Sams Gerrans stated that; this time the plan is to destroy Syria. The ultimate design is to create Greater Israel as part of their plan to divide Middle East into further smaller to states. This is the continuation of the US-Israeli led European conspiracy to ensure that Muslims remain backward and poverty stricken
However Syrians marked the 12th anniversary of the uprising at a rally in opposition-held Idlib last March.
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Syrians fleeing to refugee camps
Syrian refugee girl managed to escape sleep in the jungle.courtesy Reuters
Bodies of peaceful demonstrators massacred by Bashar Al Assad’s forces dumped in a dungeon
Disclaimer: Moves to rehabilitate Syria’s Bashar Al Assad
Insults millions of Syrians tortured, killed and made refugees - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view