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Syria’s Bloodshed Continues – OpEd

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By Hassan Barari

In its bid to defeat its opponents within and without Syrian, the regime continues its relentless crackdown killing more Syrians every day. The regime has exceeded all limits to the extent that it kills people in cold blood. On Monday, bodies of scores of Syrians were found dumped on the outskirts of the city of Homs in what seemed to be one of the indicators of mass killing.

Early Wednesday, a Syrian official vowed that the Syrian troops would cleanse Baba Amro — the rebel neighborhood of the city of Homs. The city has been subject to more than three weeks of artillery and rocket attacks. More than 100, 000 Syrians including foreign journalists have been stranded in the area. Given that it is not easy to get specific information about the Syrian troops’ atrocities against people.

What is happening in Syria is a scandal! The international community is watching the daily killings without being able to come up with a step to deter a regime that has reached the no-return point. It does not take a genius to figure out that Assad is ready to kill hundreds of thousands in his bid for survival. This regime enjoys the full support of Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia. The latter has blocked the Untied Nation Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning Assad’s regime for the relentless atrocities.

Unfortunately, the “Friends of Syria” conference held in Tunisia was nothing but a disappointment. The Syrian people feel being let down at a time the Syrian regime is demonstrating the will to kill. At one day, Assad regime is going to fall because the Syrian people will prevail. But, at what price they will get their independence from this regime. It’s really not enough for the Obama administration just to express its outrage over the killings in Homs.

In a last-ditched attempt to convince Assad to stop killing his people, former UN chief Kofi Annan, the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, expressed his hope to meet with Assad to plead with him to bring about a peaceful end to the nearly year-old conflict. Will Assad listen? I doubt it. I believe the time has come for everyone to understand once and for all that Assad understands nothing but the language of force.

To survive as the Syrian president, Assad doesn’t mind keeping his killing machine on.

Against this, I think that short of military intervention, Assad will keep having the upper hand in the internal strife. The bet on external sanctions is naïve. It seems that no single country is ready to put its money where its mouth is. By and large, the talk is about sanction. While it is true that the regime will suffer from a dire situation because of sanction, but still Iran can always come to his side. In fact, the Iranian regime has been cheer leading the bloody crackdown on the Syrian civilians and is not expected to change course unless the Syrian regime show weakness.

Saudi Arabia expressed its outrage of the passive international position. Prince Saud Al-Faisal withdrew from the “Friends of Syria” conference because it did not live up to the historic moment. Riyadh understands the dynamic of power politics in the region better than the outside forces. Saudi leaders realize that dictators like President Bashar Assad will not stop short of winning regardless of the high price tag that country and people are poised to pay. For this reason, Prince Saud had belittled the focus on humanitarian aid to Syria. He expressed his support for arming the Syrian rebels dubbing the idea as “an excellent ideal.”

The military escalation in Syria and the regime’s willingness to use every trick in the book to survive should be seen within the context of the external support of Assad. The Chinese-Russia veto has emboldened the regime to unleash his killing machine to finish off the Syrian uprising. Also the active support of Iran and Hezbollah leave the opposition vulnerable.

Amid the impotence of the international community to deter Assad regime, then the only solution is to arm the opposition and support defection from the Syrian Army. It is only then that Assad forces will equally pay the price. So far, some Arab capitals including Riyadh are willing to figure out ways of arming the opposition. This thinking should be implemented because what is at stake is the necessity that the Syrian people prevail over this old-fashioned and inhuman regime.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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