The present Syrian conflict didn’t emerge to the surface overnight;, it has a long history of unemployment, corruption and a lack of political freedom under the authoritarian rule of President Bashar Al Assad, since he took the office in 2000, succeeding his late father Hafez, behind it. With the rise of the Arab Spring in the neighboring countries, it inspired pro-democracy demonstrators to flare up in the southern city of Derra in 2011, which led to a nationwide demand for president’s immediate resignation, after the government moved to crush the dissents. The unrest escalated and the clamp down intensified. Armed oppositions defended themselves and later expelled the security forces out of their areas. Thus, a peaceful uprising against the Syrian president turns into a barbaric civil war, which has left almost 353,900 people dead including 106,000 civilians, as documented till March 2018 by the Syrian Observatory for Human Right- UK based monitoring group. The statistics didn’t include 56,900 who went missing, presumed to be dead. Moreover, 100,000 deaths weren’t documented as revealed by the reports.
At present, there is very little interest left in bringing the Syrian war to an end, despite massive killings, devastated cities and terrorism pouring into other countries. Many groups and states with their vested interests and disguised agendas are involved to exploit the situation and prolong the war. They have been accused of nurturing the hatred between two main sects of Syria Muslims, arousing Sunni Muslim majority against the President’s Shia Alawite sect, but such exploitations aren’t new to Muslim communities which have slaughtered countless of innocent Muslims due to the foreign intervention; igniting the spark of Islam’s ancient schism, following down the line. In the wake of these divisions, both sides have been involved in full-scale atrocities, which have devastated the communities and made hope for peace nearly impossible. Furthermore, with the presence of multifarious dimension to the conflict, militias ranging from Jihadist group ISIS and al-Qaida to Free Syrian Army rebels, is fighting the regime with the support from US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Syrian Kurds who were in support of the right to self-government but didn’t fight Assad’s forces.
However, to the contrary, the Syrian government is supported by Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran. A quick insight to aforementioned sovereigns had played a pivotal role to turn the tide of the war in Assad’s favor, especially Russia which had its bases in Syria root out the terrorist by bombarding through the air strike campaigns launched in 2015.The massive killings don’t include the terrorist alone, but the civilians and rebels too. Iran too, in Assad’s support, had spent billions of dollars and deployed thousands of troops coupled with Shia Muslim fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement; financed, trained and armed by Iran. Moreover, countries like Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan have extended their support by fighting beside the Syrian army.
Whereas, France, United States, and the United Kingdom are supporting the moderate rebels with the formation of a global coalition, which carried air strikes on IS militants, since 2014. They have helped to form Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) - an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias to regain the control from the Jihadist. Moreover, Turkey’s support to rebel is its move to counter the Kurdish militias, which it believes to dominate SDF, alleging it an extension of outlawed Kurdish rebels in Turkey. So, Saudi Arabia is to dispense its consistent arms and financial support to rebels to counter Iranian influence.
But what benefits Israel to have an unending civil war between Assad’s regime and dangerous militant groups. Both the countries have never been in a good relation, since the war of 1965 when Israeli forces captured Golan Heights from Syria and have continued its occupation till 2000. More than a decade later, Syria backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, who were fighting against the Israeli occupation. Despite, having no diplomatic ties and sharing a frontier, both the countries never confronted a military combat. When the Syrian crises broke in 2011, Israel was concerned about the replacement of stable secular dictatorship in its neighborhood with the militant regime. But the strategic policy of Israel changed with the Syrian war evolving into a regional conflict over the years.
When Assad’s regime had failures fighting against the rebels, Iran stepped forward to help by sending thousands of its soldiers and recruited Shia militants from different countries to defend the regime. It alarmed Israel of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian war and Iran’s sponsored militias growing influence over the region. Meanwhile, Syria has met with airstrikes by Israel over growing concern of arms shipment from Iran to Hezbollah in Syria. It was due to this background Israel had to intensify its bombing, last month. Despite Prime-minter Netanyahu’s warning to Iran, it seems difficult to counter Iranian influence, as history depicts a limited Israeli scope to establish control over the Syrian territory with the help of occasional aerial raids and are left with full-scale intervention, but cannot use this option, until the Syrian regime is backed by Russia. In seven years, Iran has built a stronger network in Syria and has strengthened Hezbollah, as well.
The writer reports for Fox News and is a freelance columnist.
In the wake of these divisions, both sides have been involved in full-scale atrocities, which have devastated the communities and made hope for peace nearly impossible.