Syrian crisis - Which way?

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Satellite Television channels across the world, almost on a daily basis, show the degree of carnage committed by the protagonists in the crisis, which have taken entrenched positions to the resolution of the conflict.

While the opposition wants an end to the Assad Regime, the government recommends cosmetic changes with President Assad still in the helm of affairs in the country.

What is most disturbing is the sectarian nature of the crisis which has pit Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims, a situation which has received attention and support from Arab countries in the region.

The Syrian crisis has also created general insecurity and the breakdown of law and order in the country, a situation which has given rise to the emergence of militia groups controlling areas in which they operate.

In addition, the situation has led to radical Islamist groups pitching their tents either for the government or against it. It is alleged that Lebanese group Hezbollah has placed at the disposal of the Assad regime, thousands of its fighters  to contain and defeat the opposition forces.

The Hezbollah group has been a long time ally of the Assad dynasty and for that matter, its fortunes are tied to the Syrian regime. A fall of the Assad regime would go a long way to weaken the group and possibly lead to its dissolution. 

This, perhaps, explains why its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, condemned attempts by foreign countries and their local collaborators to oust the Assad regime and gave the assurance that his group will not abandon the Assad regime in its time of need.

Moreover, the seeming vacuum created by the crisis has led to the formation of groups allegedly affiliated to the Al-Qaeda. This incident has created nervousness especially among the European countries and the United States who have dragged their feet to support the opposition forces with military hardware. 

Indeed, the disunity among the opposition forces, the result of infighting and greed gave much room for the so-called Al-Qaeda groups to flourish, and gain roots and credence in the crisis-torn country. 

The US and Europe are very much concerned about the influence of such groups and the possibility of them finding themselves in positions of power and authority in the post war Syria. 

Like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, which witnessed upheaval leaving in its wake the proliferation of arms, Syrian  is today bursting at its seems with all kinds of arms, some of which have fallen into the hands of so-called terrorist groups.

What the development implies is that several months and years after the final resolution of the conflict and the installation of a new government, countless arms will still be in the custody of groups.

The groups could use the arms to hold the government hostage when certain decisions taken by Parliament or any other statutory body goes against their individual and collective interest.

An example to buttress the aforementioned point is the recent stand-off between militia and the government  in Libya. The militia held hostage ministers in their offices on condition that allies of slain former leader Muammar Gaddafi should not hold positions in the new government, whether at the local or national levels.

The crisis and its attendant refugee crisis has become like a noose strangling to death the economies of countries such as Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. Those countries have to deal with huge security crisis brought about by the conflict.

This has brought additional costs to their budgets, which they are unable to bear. They are not getting the needed support from around the world to shove up their ballooning budgets because the economies of countries in Europe such as Greece, Spain and Italy are also bleeding to death.

It is likely that some bad elements involved in the crisis  will infiltrate their security agencies and people  and incite them against their governments’. The likelihood of similar upheavals in their countries had compelled the Jordan government to undertake some democratic reforms to appease the people.

The alleged attack of Israel on certain vital installations in Syria also reveals its nervousness about the crisis in that country.

Perhaps, Israel entertained the fear that the Assad regime would relocate some of its strategic weapons  to the Hezbollah regime either to be used against it, as well as transfer the technology to Palestinian groups fighting it.

In other words, the Israeli government wants to clip the wings of Hezbollah  and finally deal a knockout blow to it, since the group threatens the existence of the country.

The Syrian government has condemned the attack on its installation, calling it a violation of its sovereignty. The Arab League has also added its voice to the attack, describing it as sinister and calculated to further worsen the already volatile Syria.

The crisis should be dealt with utmost care since it has the potential to develop into a regional war

Where are the UN, Arab League and the Non Aligned Movement?


Article by Kweku Tsen