When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available; and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable to being exploited further, a situation like that in Syria arises. Syria is currently facing one of the worst humanitarian crisis in history, and it is a result of the intersection of interest and powers of different countries, notably Russia and the United States of America.
The US has always been an important and highlighted sticky note in the journal of events that Syria had been going through. The ‘Arab Spring’ erupted in the year 2011 and began influencing, people of the Middle East to stand up for the rule of democracy. It was this time when a senseless greed for power ate up the sanity of a person, whose power over millions of innocent lives, derived not from the choice of the people, but from a mere descent of throne. Bashar-al-Assad, the descendant, ordered a military roll out on his own people to suppress the rebellion against his throne. The US with its covert interest always played from the backhand in the crisis by providing “non-lethal” aid to the rebel forces of Syria.
In the aftermath of the beheadings of the American hostages namely James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, US began sending surveillance flights over Syria to gather intelligence on ISIL targets. The United States finally succeeded in establishing a coalition of sixty countries on 3rd December 2014 that styled itself as the ‘Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’ and agreed upon a many-sided strategy against ISIL, including cutting off ISIL’s financing and funding and exposing its true nature. Following plans of the ‘US-led coalition against ISIL’, the program to train and equip the Syrian “Moderate rebels” started and eventually inserted them into Syria from Turkey. According to ‘Jane’s Defence Weekly’ US reportedly shipped 994 tonnes of weapons and ammunitions under the operation ‘Timber Sycamore’ to the Syrian rebel groups.
US under the leadership of President Barack Obama and with the congressional approval, in association with its partner nations namely Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates unleashed a total of SEVENTY airstrikes between September 2014 and January 2015, leaving in ashes hundreds of ISIL and Al-Nusra’s firing positions, staging areas, armoured vehicles, safe house buildings and many modular oil refineries. But when bulls fight, crops suffer. Switch to an Audio-Visual that projects the condition of the Syrian civilians and you’ll find millions, making their way through the bombs, blood and burial to the refugee camps or some to an untimely heaven. Children, who lost their homes and family, desperately waiting for a one-time meal, an inch of clothing, a bedding not infested by bugs or maybe even a hand that leads them to their lost parents who they think are just playing a game of ‘peekaboo’ with them.
American restraint had strengthened Assad’s sense of security and encouraged him to expand the scope of his operations against the rebels and his attacks against innocent civilians. This restraint had also strengthened the assessment in Moscow that supporting Assad demonstrates to the World about Russia’s loyalty to its allies and its principles, in sharp contrast to the United States, which allegedly abandons its allies and hesitates to stand up for its principles. Somewhere, as we believe a strong No-Go by the US to the hostile forces and the ugly game of Assad in the very beginning of everything would keep Syria and its people in a way better position than now.
1 dictator, 6 years of interest conflicts, 60 nations, 70 rounds of airstrikes, 10000 missiles launched, 50000 militants dead, millions of civilians slaughtered and left homeless, billions in money and resources burnt, and everything back to the same point where it started. Political and diplomatic interests still not ready to be compromised for the sake of ending this meaningless slaughter, Militants still going strong with the false “Jihad” principles, Allah would himself shed a tear, and refugees praying to an unknown supreme power to get them out of their misery. The Irony is vivid, but the result is not. The weak stand with empty hands crying for themselves and the strong are confused and lost in their self-made diplomatic barriers and act only to prove their presence.
With USA shooting down Syrian air crafts and Russia issuing a warning to the USA, the vicious game doesn’t seem to be ending soon. It is imperative that all the stakeholders realise what the current situation is, not just from a political point of view, but from a humanitarian standpoint. They have great power at their disposal, to change the fate of generations of Syrian nationals, who currently are looking towards a bleak future. Because as it is rightly said, with great power comes to an even greater responsibility and it is high time they realise it.
By Sanidhya Pandey and Rishabh Shekhar