Origionally published in Pak tea house
The writer is a clinical psychologist and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Syria is burning again and it seems as if Syrian war has become a never-ending phenomenon. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, around 11 million people have fled their homes since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria. It is a shocking fact that at the time of outbreak of civil war, the total population of Syria was around 22 million and now half of population has been displaced. Moreover, around 250,000 Syrians have lost their life.
Syria is a religiously and ethnically diverse country. It is composed of a majority Muslim population and a sizeable Christian minority. The people of Syria are also divided on sectarian lines and it has been ruled by the Shiite Assad family since the 1970s.
Pro-democratic protests started in March 2011, during the Arab Spring, and descended into a civil war. If we closely analyze the Syrian conflict, it will become clear that all the decisions that are made to supposedly bring peace in Syria actually revolve around the objectives of foreign powers that are, directly or indirectly, involved in the war. Now this war is not just limited to the protestors and the supporters of Bashar Al Assad: Syrian regime is backed by Russia and Iran while America, Turkey, U.K and France are in the opposing camp.
In the beginning of this conflict, Syrian government had to encounter a number of issues such as sanctions and trade blockade but the decision of Assad to stay in office played a major role in escalation of this conflict. Though Americans entered into the conflict with a view to help the Syrians who were protesting against the regime of Bashar Al Assad and fighting ISIS, now they are busy serving their own purposes. It is true that many areas have been cleared of terrorists but the need of hour is to end this war through mutual cooperation of all the powers involved.
Recently, the United States, France and U.K launched airstrikes on Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Ghouta by Russia-backed Syrian regime. American, British and French naval and air assets took part in the strikes which, according to the American Defense Secretary, employed more than twice the amount of munitions used during American strikes in Syria last year. The U.S ambassador to the United Nations said that America was ready to launch another strike if Syrian government decided to use chemical weapons again.
Both sides are playing their role to escalate the tension. The American government blames the Syrian government for gas attack while Moscow accuses America of violating international law after their recent airstrikes on Syria. Now it is not a hidden reality that Russia is a reemerging power. Syrian battlefield is also being utilized by Russia to show its power to the world. Russia is once again ready to challenge the hegemony of America and its role in the world politics has increased.
This current scenario of Syria reminds one of Berlin’s post-World War II situation where major powers stood confronting each other in order to increase their sphere of influence. At that time, the war was in its last stage but power politics paved the way for a new war termed as cold war. Major powers should learn some lesson from history. Amidst such situation, the possibility of a major war among these players is ever present.
Moreover if Trump decides to walk out of the Iran nuclear deal, the level of escalation between Iran and America could reach the highest point. As a result the battle ground could again be Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrians are being killed, kidnapped and raped. They are dying of hunger and still waiting for help in protection and rehabilitation.