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'Fueling the violence:' Humanitarian intervention in Syria in full swing?

Published time: March 16, 2013 03:44
Reuters / Goran Tomasevic

The Syrian conflict could worsen significantly if the EU pushes through the idea of openly arming the country's rebels. Using the humanitarian pretext for intervention, experts say, Western governments remain biased against the Syrian government,

While pushing an end to the Syrian arms embargo, Paris and London have already met opposition from Germany and Sweden. And if other EU states refuse to change their minds, Britain and France are ready to proceed without fears of international backlash, Syrian political activist Yazan Abdallah told RT.

“There will be diplomatic backlash,” Abdallah said. “Of course there are many nations – although they’re sitting on the fence – that perhaps would not accept by any means arming the Syrian rebels outside any international agreement from the UN Security Council.”

“But we have to remember that such an incident happened before in Iraq,” Abdallah noted, referring to a 2003 decision by the British government – facing opposition from its own Parliament – to go to war based on reports of weapons of mass destruction that later turned out to be fraudulent.

Balance between the state and the extremists

The UN remains biased against the Syrian government, turning a blind eye to crimes committed by terrorists and Islamists, Abdallah says, stressing that most of the humanitarian atrocities registered in Syria are “attributed to acts of extremism.”

“Now they are reporting on crimes against humanity, on beheadings, on recruiting children, on rape, and on torture leading to displacement within Syria and outside Syria,” he said. “So the humanitarian pretext for intervention is, in a way, a direct result of the Western intervention in Syria – by which they continue to send armed militants into Syria.”

AFP Photo / Javier Manzano

Maintaining this bias, Britain and France in particular argue that the opposition needs urgent help, and arming it to such an extent that it can overpower Assad’s forces would put an end to the conflict.

“You cannot equate a state that is being armed and defending itself against external aggression and internal terrorism with arming militias,” Abdallah says. “You cannot strike a balance between a state and armed militias who are extremists.”

‘Overthrow scheme not working’

While Abdallah says British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s recent rhetoric comes at least partially as a result of “pressure from Gulf countries” and rumored multi-billion-dollar Qatari business contracts with the UK, political analyst Robert Harness says Western powers have simply started panicking that their plan to get rid of the Assad government is failing.

“Clearly Britain, France and probably behind them America are getting panicky about the fact that this scheme of overthrowing Bashar Assad is just not working,” Harness told RT. “But certainly if they start pouring weapons in a big way, obviously it is going to make a difference.”

Such a decision would bring an unprecedented escalation in the conflict, but wouldn’t bring a resolution any closer.

“One third, at least, and probably a majority of the Syrians, do not want to be living in a Sharia state, so there is going to be a desperate fight whatever happens,” Harness explained, adding that Iran won’t be on the fence should such a scenario arise.

“You can be sure that Iran equally will say: ‘If this is the way Britain and France are going to behave, we shall do as much.’ And they are a lot closer to Syria than Britain and France.”

Full-scale intervention?

France however might actually not be so far from Syria as it currently appears, Harness admitted.

“A few months ago France said it was terribly worried about the poor refugees, so they sent a hospital to Jordan,” Harness noted. “It just happened to be a military hospital.”

While at the time various analysts claimed it was a “foot in the door,” just this week German media reported that the US is training Syrian rebels to use anti-tank weapons at a camp in Jordan.

“Now there are several different allied armies in Jordan, and indeed they are training up rebels there and the idea is that they had a Turkish front and now will have a Jordan front to distract the Syrian government to take them from two flanks,” Harness said.

In the meantime an attack on Syria from a third front in nearby Lebanon seems to be in full swing. The Syrian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that the flow of well-armed terrorist groups from the neighboring state to Syria has significantly increased in the recent days. The ministry said that “crowds of those terrorist groups are still present inside the Lebanese lands,” urging Beirut to stick to its international obligations and take control of its borders.

‘Halting outside intervention is the only solution’

There still are those who realize, Abdallah says, that not a single conflict in history has ended without negotiations. In the Syrian case, the talks would start the moment foreign intervention stops, he adds.

“It is never too late for dialogue,” Abdallah told RT. “The crisis in Syria is very complex. However, the solution may be simple – only by halting and stopping intervention in Syria from outside. The minute the West and Turkey and Qatar and Saudi stop fueling the violence in Syria and stop sending jihadists, Syrians can come to the table.”

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Comments (37)

Anonymous user 20.03.2013 01:24

Will the Israelis annex a portion of Syria after the dust settles? Most would assume so.

Anonymous user 18.03.2013 05:54

Ayatollah JJ: Don't believe the lies on RT, the FSA is getting beaten bad, the NEW RT is Propaganda

Anonymous user 18.03.2013 01:41

Long live Assad! Long live Syria!

View all comments (37)
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