19 Aug '15     home | previous

Syria, War and Diplomacy

In recent days there have been more airstrikes – government terrorism – against civilians in Syria. The UN's humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, has said he is "horrified" by the attacks on civilians last Sunday, August 16th, in the rebel-held suburb of Damascus. The death toll is reported to have risen to at least 96, making it one of the bloodiest single incidents of the four-year-long conflict. O'Brien describes the targeting of non-combatants in the country's war as "unlawful, unacceptable and must stop".

The Assad regime's ground forces have been described as weakened, but it's airforce can still operate with impunity. The US could knock out Assad's airforce easily enough. Assad's atrocities bring to mind President Franklin Roosevelt's desire for a UN police force, but international opposition has been talk and more talk.

Reported today, Wednesday the 19th, by BBC News is "a sudden flurry of diplomacy, including Iranians and Russians, "who have kept Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime afloat for years", and "their counterparts in the rebel corner, namely the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey." The BBC adds,

Officials are said to be reevaluating their vehement insistence that Assad must go. Increasingly, analysts say, Western and even Gulf states fear that groups like Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will fill the void if the regime falls.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.