Fears Of Kosovo Or Iraq Fate For Syria
Escalating situation in Syria evokes fears of similar Iraqi fate
Syria’s private press reports have talked about a recent behind-closed-doors meeting held by U.S. President Barack Obama and the chief of the CIA, in the presence of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noting that the meeting called for the need to reinforce military preparedness for a unilateral military intervention at any time in Syria, and to implement a series of concentrated shelling of military sites…
DAMASCUS: The accelerated situation and the obsession of almost all world countries, including major powers, about the Syrian crisis have raised many question marks about the future of this small but influential country and evoked fears that it’s nudged towards becoming a new Kosovo or at least a new Iraq.
The Syrian government’s decision to harshly track down alleged terrorist groups in restive Syrian cities has been encountered by vitriolic criticism from world countries, accusing it of capitalizing on the recent Russian and Chinese veto at the UN Security Council that has blocked a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s violence against protesters.
The harsh crackdown also raised concern about new measures against Syria, including a possible military intervention or at least an imminent civil war.
Internally, terrorism is strongly beating. The northern province of Aleppo was rocked on Friday with two suicide blasts that claimed the lives of 28 people and the injury of 234 others.
Also, alleged gunmen assassinated Saturday the head of a military hospital in Damascus, the first incident in the capital since the outbreak of violence in mid-March of last year.
Externally, Arab foreign ministers huddled in Cairo to discuss the Syrian crisis and have agreed to halt diplomatic dealings with Syria’s representatives and called on the UN to endorse their calls to send joint Arab-UN troops to Syria.
Turkey, Syria’s northern neighbor that has recently maintained a quiet diplomacy, raised its anti-Syria rhetoric over the past days and its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed Friday to work with Washington and like-minded European and Arab states to bolster humanitarian protection for Syrian civilians allegedly endangered by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Davutoglu, speaking to journalists in Washington ahead of a Monday meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, threw support to Clinton’s proposed idea for a “Friends of Syria” international contact group to find ways to get humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians and support that country’s transition to democracy.
Furthermore, Syria’s private press reports have talked about a recent behind-closed-doors meeting held by U.S. President Barack Obama and the chief of the CIA, in the presence of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noting that the meeting called for the need to reinforce military preparedness for a unilateral military intervention at any time in Syria, and to implement a series of concentrated shelling of military sites, in a bid to bridle the alleged repressive crackdown of the Syrian government on protesters.
Reports said Obama’s lingering intervention is attributed to mounting concern that the Lebanese Hezbollah, a close ally of Syria, might open a military front on Israel’s northern borders and drag Tel Aviv into a long-standing war with unpredictable consequences.
In yet another serious escalation in the Syrian scene, news has been leaked that Qatar and Britain mull dispatching special forces to Syria in the context of the so-called “Friends of Syria” group.
Victoria Nuland, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said Washington is holding consultations with some countries on convening a meeting of the group to render humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
In the same context, the White House spokesman said the U.S. plans to intensify consultations with its partners, including representatives from the Syrian opposition, to crystallize the next steps of the international community to stop bloodshed in Syria and to ensure a peaceful and democratic transition.
The worldwide plans and calls stirred concerns among Syrians that the situation, which is currently experiencing some kind of a cold war between major powers and even regional heavyweights, is getting closer to a new Iraq amid escalated violence and explosions that recall memories of what is happening in neighboring Iraq.
Syria has claimed that five major explosions that hit the two largest cities in the country, Damascus and Aleppo, over the past few months bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida.
Websites that have links to al-Qaida and other Wahhabi organizations have lately posted names of some of their members who were either killed or wounded in Syrian territories.
Al-Haqiqa, or Truth, website, said the so-called Free Syrian Army is no more than a “fictitious” cover that hides behind other Takfiri and fundamentalists, who flocked to the fighting in Syrian territory.
Libyan websites disclosed the death of three Libyan Islamists at the Baba Amro neighborhood in Homs last Monday. Other websites cited similar cases about the killing of a number of fundamentalists who came in from Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to fight in Syria.
Even the foreign press has reported the killing of five Wahabbi terrorists in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani, including the Kuwaiti Fuad Khaled, better known as Abu Hozaifa, during clashes with security men.
Media reports also said that no less than 1,000 gunmen from al-Qaida have infiltrated into Syria and most of them are stationed in Damascus suburbs and the central city of Homs.
The U.S. McClatchy newspapers said in a recent report that al-Qaida was behind the two explosions that rocked the capital of Damascus in December of 2011, raising the likelihood that it might also be responsible for the Aleppo blasts.
The paper said its account is based on CIA reports. It said al-Qaida wants to exploit the current turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency.
In a videotaped statement released Saturday, al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in countries neighboring Syria to back Syria’s uprising against the “pernicious, cancerous regime.”
He said the rebels cannot depend on the West for help, spiking fears that Syria might meet Iraq’s fate.
Despite this fearsome development, Syrian officials are still trying to inspire hopes. Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad confirmed Saturday that the country will overcome all difficulties and win through reconciliation and through embarking on a dialogue with all spectra of the Syrian society.
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