One country. A deadly crisis in its fifth year now. Over a quarter of a million dead. Millions became refugees. But for the world, helping Syria get back on its feet is not on top of the list of priorities. In fact, some are so indifferent to this tragic war that instead of joining hands with other countries and finding solutions, they are quarrelling pathetically on how to deal with it.
And now, Turkey has put forward a plan in which Assad will be allowed to stay in power for six months and then leave Syria for good. Feeling over generous, Turkey? Because it seems like too kind a deal for someone who is often referred to as a lethal tyrant.
There are many players in the game in Syria. Kurdish fighters are among them and of course, the US is backing them. Needless to say, Turkey is protesting against this. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu conveyed their position by warning the US and Russia against supplying arms and support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.
Why? Turkey views the main Syrian Kurdish group, the Democratic Unity Party (PYD) and its military wing, which is fightingthe Islamic State (IS) group as an extension of the PKK, which has waged a 30-year insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by the United States and NATO.
Ankara says the Arab and Turkmen civilians from areas liberated from IS control were being removed by the Syrian Kurdish militia and PYD.
Omer Celik, a strategist and advisor to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), says a transitional government in Syria led by President Bashar Al-Assad is a bad idea. To Turkey’s defence, Assad does have blood on his hands and it’s hard to imagine someone like that restoring stability in Syria.
If there’s any justice left in this world, Assad should be tried in the international court. There is no escaping that. The only question is, why hasn’t this been done yet?
Maybe because the ones with the power to make it happen just can’t come to a common and rational decision. Russia launches air strikes in support of Assad, France shares Turkey’s views, Germany wants him to lead a transitional government before he quits and Britain wants him to leave power “at some point”.
But what do the Syrian people want? In an interview on Iranian Television recently, Assad said that it was not up to any foreign official to decide Syria’s future, including any transitional period and that it’s a decision for the Syrians to make. What needs to be pointed out is that by “Syrians”, he probably means his supporters who make up just 10 percent or 15 percent of country’s population. But real justice would mean that the decision should be left to every citizen including the millions Assad has wronged.
Bashar Al-Assad has on Tuesday made it clear that his “huge gratitude” is reserved for his counterpart, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who called him to Moscow for an un-announced visit to discuss their joint military campaign and a political transition in Syria. Putin told the Syrian leader that Russia was ready to help fight terrorism and make a political settlement of the conflict.
From a certain point of view, it looks like Russia is a little desperate and wants to break out of the isolation that Moscow was in over the Ukraine crisis.
Everybody has their own agenda. The West claims that if Assad is left powerless, Syria will fall in the hands of radicals. Doesn’t it seem like a baseless assumption? Are thousands of militant groups hurting innocent civilians better than the so called radicals?
Continuing failure of international community to resolve the Syrian conundrum only help aggravate the tragedy and as the world stands witness, the Syrians are suffering to an unimaginable extent.
Originally written for: https://www.thetimesofworld.com/the-unending-syrian-crisis/