Following a terror attack that left at least 55 people dead in Damascus, the UN increased the number of observers in Syria to 157 on Thursday. But journalist Patrick Hayes told RT that the UN “intervention” is only distorting the conflict.
Twin blasts near a military intelligence building in Damascus left at least 55 people dead and 372 others injured Thursday morning. The tragedy came just a day after a roadside bomb went off in the country’s southwest, seconds after the UN observer team head passed by in a convoy.
RT: The UN-brokered ceasefire in Syria is clearly not working. How much is this due to foreign involvement that some claim is coming from the Gulf States and other countries?
Patrick Hayes: I think that is important to point out from the start that the UN-brokered peace deal is a foreign involvement. This is not a case of Syrian people sitting down and negotiating by themselves. This is Kofi Annan and various officials coming in and imposing a peace plan and a treaty upon the Syrian people. The foreign intervention is happening already in Syria.
RT: Don’t you need a mediator between these two factions? The time has come for some mediation, hasn’t it, and that is exactly what the UN is trying to do?
PH: I think one of the problems with Annan’s peace plan from the start is that it’s fetishized peace over really trying to allow the Syrian people to resolve the issue. In many ways in the UN coming in this way has distorted the conflict. It has bottled up a lot of tensions that often do have to try and resolve themselves in some unpleasant ways sometimes.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in the Arab Spring last year, only true struggle of the people in those countries can really bring them lasting change.
You can’t always just sit all the parties round the table. In particular you can’t in Syria, because it is very hard to know exactly what constitutes the opposition. And it’s a very fragmented opposition.
I think that is one of the reasons why it is really hard to exactly pin down what happened with these explosions and who is responsible for them.
What we are seeing here is a very messy increase in the conflict, a kind of civil war. And unfortunately the Annan plan is distorting that rather than making things better.
RT: President Assad has so far managed to stay in power, how do you assess his current position? Can he remain at the helm?
PH: I think now, when we have the UN monitors on the ground in Syria, effectively they are getting much better in building a dossier of information about what Assad is doing. I think that could at some point down the line lead to greater excuses for intervention.