Syrians have no choice but to resist

Friday 04/09/2015

The only recourse for the Syrian people are the Syrian people. Everything else is a waste of time and effort by people who fail to realise that the Syrian people’s revolution cannot and will not stop until the fall of Bashar Assad and everything he represents.
This revolution will not stop for one simple reason: The Syrian people have broken through the fear barrier. This barrier had been imposed by the former regime of Hafez Assad but the Syrian people have broken through this. There is no going back, whatever the cost or however high the death toll mounts.
The Syrian revolution has ex­posed the true faces of a number of different parties.
It has exposed Iran’s true inten­tions and ripped away Turkey’s false mask. But, first and fore­most, it is the weak policy of Barack Obama’s administration that has been exposed and its im­possible attempts to appease both Iran and Israel at the same time. Washington believes that Iran and Israel are the keys to the region, while they think Ankara also has a role to play.
As for Russia, it has become clearer that Moscow remains stuck in the Soviet era. The Russian leadership seems to believe that the Cold War is still ongoing and that Syria is just another one of its Middle Eastern pawns.
As for all the media talk about the importance of the port of Tar­tus, that is precisely what that is: talk. Such claims reflect an outdat­ed understanding of the strategic situation. Russia knows nothing about Syria, it is only concerned about Syria’s natural gas and the oil pipelines that pass through Syr­ian territory from the Gulf.
Most of all, Russia does not seem to understand that the As­sad regime has completely lost any sense of legitimacy and is completely rejected by the Syrian people. Russia remains in thrall to the spectre of the Soviet Union, so there is nothing strange about Moscow remaining committed to Assad, even if he is committed to burning the country to the ground.
Turning to Iran, Syria is still the biggest prize, even after Tehran has expanded its control in Leba­non and Iraq through subordinate militias such as Hezbollah.
To understand just how im­portant Syria is to Iran, we must understand that Tehran is gam­bling the future of Hezbollah on its success there. That is why we see Iran doing everything in its power to ensure Syria remains within its sphere of influence and particularly depending on sectar­ian militias and, if worst comes to worst, the establishment of an Alawite statelet near the coast that reaches to Lebanon.
Turkey’s true face has also been uncovered, even while we thank it for its acceptance and care for Syr­ia’s fleeing refugees. It has become clear that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no viable policy to implement his regional ambitions, which are hostage to a narrow Islamist ideology or indeed even the capabilities to fulfil any such policy. Erdogan still believes that the Muslim Brotherhood are the solution to the region’s problems.
Turkish politicians made a num­ber of over-the-top statements immediately after the start of the Syrian revolution.
But such talk is nothing more than empty words without the ability to enforce safe zones where Syrians can flee to and the opposi­tion leadership can rule.

Turkey was unable to play a positive role in uniting the ranks of the Syrian opposition, which is split between pro-Kurdish figures and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology.
But to return to the Obama administration, there was no going back after the US president drew a red line regarding the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing when the Assad regime crossed it.
The US administration still, after all this time, has no clear policy towards Syria and is hoping that time will solve the Syrian crisis. But with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and regime’s barrel bombs still raining down on the heads of the Syrian people, time is running out while the Americans stand idly by, spectators to the Syrian tragedy.
The Syrian people have no other choice but to endure. They are paying a high price but have demonstrated an ability above normal to hold out and continue their resistance.

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