The violent turn of events in Syria between the Syrian Government and the protesters is certainly alarming, reflecting the abject failure of the peace-keeping international institutions. After Wednesday’s incident where a bomb killed four members of President Bashar Assad’s narrow circle of kin and lieutenants, including Bashar’s powerful brother-in-law, defence minister and the intelligence chief, the Syrian Government has retaliated in a massive way arming themselves with “army helicopters and tanks, aimed rockets, machine gun….” in a bid to outdo the protesters.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group which monitors the violence in the country said that since Thursday about 240 people have been killed across Syria including 43 soldiers. The Observatory’s combined death toll during the last Wednesday and Thursday stands at 550, making it the “bloodiest two days of the 16-month-old uprising” against Assad demanding an end to his Ba’ath regime.
Media reports indicate that the protesters have penetrated and taken hold of several key areas and are engaged in rampant loot and have destroyed significant artillery of the Syrian Government. If the media reports are to be believed, at this juncture two things emerge. One—the Bashar Government which has developed cracks has very little hope of being able to suppress the protest. Two— the fact that protesters have drawn some mileage (in the form of supply of arms, ammunition etc to wage the war) from the Islamic fundamentalists (read the Al-Qaida), their victory might lead to the creation of a Taliban regime.
An uprising that has taken a toll on 17,925–25,656 people of which about half were civilians, but also include 9,460–9,905 armed combatants is no frivolous issue and it is really surprising that the United Nations have failed to solve this issue. Their failure stems from the disagreement of various member nations. Countries like China and Russia are extra-cautious about the fate of Bashar and his regime. As per an international news agency, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokespersons Jiang Yu: “China believes that when it comes to properly handling the current Syrian situation, it is the correct direction and major approach to resolve the internal differences through political dialogue and maintain its national stability as well as the overall stability and security of the Middle East. The future of Syria should be independently decided by the Syrian people themselves free from external interference. We hope the international community continues to play a constructive role in this regard.” Russia too having reservations on military intervention, along with Chin have vetoed a Syria-related UN Security Council resolution— a Western-drafted resolution which would have “threatened the Syrian government with targeted sanctions if it continued military actions against protestors”. The US and its allies, on the other hand, are reluctant to bring the opposition (group of protesters) for talks. Thus is the stalemate. It is high time the responsible nations displayed some sense of maturity and resolved the issue thinking about the condition of the innocent civilians who have been the worst victims.