By Mohyeddin Sajedi
Violent suicidal explosions in Damascus leave no doubt that main parties interfering in Syria are no longer capable of managing the crisis and a third party has entered the scene whose goals and equations differ from others.
Bombing attack that targeted the head of the UN observer mission Maj. Gen. Robert Mood in Daraa one day before the twin explosions in Damascus proved that the plan of UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan cannot resolve Syria’s crisis.
Everyone fears the alternative to Annan’s plan; they all talk about it but they fear resorting to it. All-out civil war in Syria will plunge the entire Middle East into changes and massive chaos. It will also involve countries that currently think themselves immune and consider arming the opposition the best way for overthrowing the Syrian establishment. They either want to settle old scores, or strengthen their political position along with their financial capability which is based on one-crop economy instead of thinking about Syria’s fate and the future of its people.
Western governments that are the main supporters of Bashar al-Assad’s opposition are gradually finding out that their protégé is not able to change the political scene inside Syria, and is more like a theatrical group that artificial and calculated encouragement from outside the country that pursues an vague goal encourages them to go on.
Diplomacy requires deliberation, but during crisis this hesitation could turn into a cause for spreading crisis. International condemnation for recent bombings in Damascus has not been strong enough to dissuade perpetrators from repeating the attacks. This foolish hesitation reached new heights when a roadside bomb exploded a few seconds after the head of UN mission drove by.
Everybody knows that such bombs are remotely exploded by people who usually observe the scene of terrorist operations. The Norwegian officer, however, hastily noted that perhaps the main target has been a truck carrying Syrian troops which was escorting UN observers!
A similar reaction was shown to two other explosions which shook Damascus on Thursday leaving 55 people dead. The US immediately exonerated the opposition and the Security Council called it a blow to Kofi Annan’s plan. It seems some parties are still in doubt about the beginning of a civil war in Syria and that security agencies of Arab and Western courtiers as well as Israel and Turkey are transferring experiences they have learned in Iraq to Syria.
More ridiculous than the mild position taken by the Security Council and the Western states has been hasty statements and remarks by the Syrian opposition which attribute all acts of sabotage and terrorism to the Syrian regime. By doing this, however, they are increasingly losing credit and have been charged with following policies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latest two blasts in Damascus mark a turning point in 14-month crisis of Syria and prove weakness of the central government in maintaining internal security. No government will ever embark on such bomb attacks to pave the way for more chaos in the country only hoping that foreign states will become concerned about presence of al-Qaeda in that country.
According to official accounts, the first blast has been small, but the second suicidal bomber exploded his bomb when people rushed to the site of the first blast; a totally calculated and planned attack. Presence of suicidal bombers draws attention to Salafi elements and al-Qaeda.
The fairest stance might be that neither the government nor the opposition is responsible for the blasts and a third party called al-Qaeda, under any new name, makes its way into the crisis like a bulldozer. Is this the reality? There is no doubt that in the eyes of the prejudiced individuals, who analyze regional crises in terms of religious rifts, the Syrian government is banished and impious and the killing of Syrians is justifiable. But what is the fault of the ordinary people?
Al-Qaeda does not exist and even if it exists, it is same as a number of security organizations that are working in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. A terrorist attack on such a large scale requires huge financial, preparatory and arms resources, the costs of which cannot be provided only by so-called charity associations in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE.
Training suicide bombers, providing bomb-laden cars and crossing them through checkpoints need big security jobs. It would not be possible without the interference of a foreign government or security organization. The scenario is planned in such a way that the suicide bomber only sees a limited number of people like himself and thinks that he will find salvation if he pushes the button. He is the last person that carries out the explosion but he is traced back to security organizations after crossing several layers.
Syria may turn into a second Iraq, third Lebanon or another Somalia. There is no other solution but reaching an immediate understanding between the government and the opposition and staying away from foreign influence. But there are certain individuals among both sides that regard any possible understanding as the end of their existence.
Mohyeddin Sajedi is a prominent Iranian political analyst, Mohyeddin Sajedi writes extensively on the Middle East issues. He also serves as a Middle East expert at the Center for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran.