Damascus on a Knife’s Edge

Article Summary
The international community has spoken out in unison against the brutality of the Syrian regime, calling on President Assad to step down and put an end to the violent repression of its security forces. The regime, however, has turned a deaf ear to its critics, bringing Syria to the brink of civil war. If the regime does not back down, Syria is likely to become a second Iraq, split between sectarian factions and engulfed in violent chaos, warns Al-Hayat’s Managing Editory, Jameel al-Theyabi.

There is no one left in this world who has not yet called upon Bashar al-Assad to end the killing. Most of the great countries and international organizations declared that Assad’s regime has lost its legitimacy. The nations of the world have raised their voices against Assad, calling upon him to reform or to leave. The Syrian regime has lost its legitimacy and must put an end to the killing.

The world denounced the ruthless crackdown of the regime’s shabiha [thugs] against the Syrian people. Assad has faced a chorus of criticism over his excessive use of force against his people; even his allies - Russia, China, and Iran - have called upon him to halt the violations. However, the Shabiha has shrugged off all criticism and calls [for them] to back down.

The shabiha’s media in Syria and Lebanon have bent over backwards to justify the criminal acts and fascist practices of the regime. Will Syria listen to anyone and put a halt to further bloodshed? The regime has gone insane and lost its humanity. Assad must leave, sooner or later.

On January 15, 2012, in an interview with Al-Hayat, UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon said that the Syrian regime has “lost its legitimacy.” In a strongly-worded statement, Moon has asked Assad to “immediately stop killing his own people.” “There is still time to back out before the civil war becomes a reality,” he added.

Every day, Syrian cities shed tears for their dead. People are forced to take up arms to defend themselves against the vengeful and brutal actions of the regime. Despite the Syrians’ great pain and suffering, Ban Ki-Moon and Nabil al-Arabi have not yet taken any serious move to halt the atrocities in Syria. They remain full of words alone.

Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi has appointed Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, a Sudanese military commander, as the head of the Arab League observer mission in Syria. He was described by Foreign Policy magazine as the “world’s’ worst Human Rights observer.” So far, al-Dabi has not made any clear criticism of the regime’s brutal crackdown, despite the non-stop bloodshed and the daily increase in the number of dead. Apparently, al-Dabi is either an accomplice [of the regime] or is turning a blind eye to the murders acts of intimidation and starvation. Perhaps the Sudanese General is trying to win favor with Assad by covering up for the Syrian regime under the guise of Nabil al-Arabi and his links to the Syrian authorities.

Assad’s regime is still refusing to withdraw the tanks, and put an end to the military crackdown on the people and cities. Syrians are being killed with brutality. People are arrested arbitrarily and protesters are being tortured. The death toll is on the increase. Thus, Syrians were left with no other choice but to take up arms to protect themselves against the oppression and atrocities of the regime. Syria could turn into another Iraq.

The Assad regime is dragging the country towards the “Iraqization” of Syria, just as the practices of Ali Saleh in Yemen which will wind up with the replication of the Somali model in Yemen.

An anonymous organization calling itself the “Movement against the Shiite Tide in Syria” declared that it had abducted five Iranians in Homs last month, warning Iran and Hezbollah from further supporting the Syrian regime.

The Commander of the Free Syrian Army, Riad Mousa al-Asaad, threatened that his troops “would wait a few days for the observers’ report before deciding whether to make a fundamental shift, which will surprise the entire word.” This is further proof that Syria is on the brink of a civil war. The regime is pushing towards the “Iraqization” of Syria.

The Ba’ath regime does not learn from its predecessors. It believes that protesters chanting in the streets are supporting it, while in reality, [pro-regime demonstrators chant out of] fear of repression, jail and torture. Had the protests in favor of the authoritarian regime been genuine, Qaddafi would have been saved by the crowd that chanted his name in Bab Aziziza, and Saddam Hussein would have spared the noose.

Following his safe arrival to Egypt, the “first Syrian dissident” [i.e. first dissident from within the regime], who worked for the Financial Control Center [within the office of the Prime Minister], said to Al-Jazeera that 80% of Syrian officials and employees are afraid to defect from the Regime, because they fear for their families’ lives and safety.

Syria is at a crossroads. It will not be saved by Iran, which is trying to divert attention from Assad’s practices by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. The Syrian regime has come to the end of the road. Assad is left with two choices: Either to step down, or drag the country into civil war.

Bashar is well aware that his rule is on a knife edge and that he will ultimately fall, just like the oppressors and dictators before him, who were toppled before and after the Arab Spring.

As long as there are still some parties covering up for the regime, Assad continues to maneuver and manipulate the facts. Certainly, we are witnessing the regime’s attempts to turn Syria into another Iraq! The Syrian regime is the only beneficiary of the destabilized security, political and sectarian situations. Bashar wants to wreak havoc on the country before he finally leaves - and when he does, good riddance.

Found in: “iraqization”, united nations, un, syrian crisis, syrian, sectarianism, sectarian conflict, nabil al-arabi, damascus, bashar al-assad, ban ki-moon, assad regime, arab observer mission, arab leauge, arab

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