Smoke rises from the wreckage of mangled vehicles at the site of an explosion in Damascus May 10, 2012. Dozens of people were killed or wounded in two "terrorist explosions" which struck a southern district of the Syrian capital Damascus, state television said.  (photo by REUTERS/Sana/Handout )

Foreign-Led Blast Might Be A Turning Point for Syria

Author: assafir

Every civil war includes at least one big incident — either a murder, an explosion or a raid — that constitutes a sharp turning point for the war's context and balance of power. The Lebanese, Palestinian , Iraqi, Yemeni and Libyan experiences are ridden with examples of such events that changed entire states and communities.

SummaryPrint The Syrian regime’s reaction to the bombings that shook Damascus on May 10 was much more diligently thought-out than the opposition's. writes Sateh Noureddine. The blast bore all the hallmarks of an externally-planned Al-Qaeda attack. For both sides to admit the presence of a third-party belligerent would be a positive step in the conflict.
TranslatorSami-Joe Abboud

The horrific massacre that hit Damascus on May 10 is yet another example of this kind of event, and will go down in history as an important part of the Syrian civil war. In fact, the incident moved Syria from a stage of clashes between belligerents — characterized by a deadlock — to one of comprehensive elimination, often led by a third party that is willing to interfere. This third party often seeks to assert itself at the front lines of the confrontation, and, consequently, take a central role at any negotiation table.

The horrific bombings that hit the Syrian capital are unprecedented. They cannot be attributed to the non-violent opposition, or to the opposition armed with light weapons that is taking part in skirmishes with the army or security forces. Nor can they be attributed to the regime, as have claimed some of its opponents who were apparently caught off guard by the extraordinary incident. In fact, the damage this has caused to the regime is the most severe since the beginning of the crisis.

The regime’s reaction to the massacres was immeasurably better than the behavior and rhetoric of the opposition.

Aside from the words of those officials who have thus far lumped all of the regime’s opponents into the same bundle, leveling accusations against all of them simultaneously, the authorities’ official accusations against the terrorists removes a brick from the wall of the civil war. Hopefully, this can set the stage for some discussions related to understanding the other’s point of view  instead of working to eradicate and provoke it, as has been the case since March of 2011.

This would help fight an imminent threat that has the power to wreak havoc on everyone without exception — be they from the moderate or militant loyalists, peaceful or armed opponents. These groups, who have for some incomprehensible and unjustified reason thus far refrained from asking God to take mercy on the civilian victims, somehow found the guts to condemn this mass murder.

The incident is so serious that it requires diligence from the opposition before the regime, especially considering that this time, more than any other, the blasts bore all the hallmarks of an attack aimed at stopping both sides from taking such an initiative.

To accuse Al-Qaeda now, as opposed to any of its affiliated networks, is no longer a distortion of the truth. It can no longer be called a move to assist the perpetrator, nor can it be called a random accusation. The decision to carry out these blasts came either from Afghanistan or Pakistan, unlike the previous bombings probably carried out by local Syrian Islamist organizations to underscore their loyalty to the Afghan leadership.

The massacre is too big to be tolerated. It is too dangerous to be called part of the open conflict between the regime and an opposition, which lost further credibility and legitimacy on May 10.

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Sateh Noureddine

Sateh Noureddine is a regular contributor to As-Safir.

Published Beirut, Lebanon Established 1974
Language Arabic Frequency daily

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