Syria Country at Crossroad with Chemical Attacks: India’s Position

Syria Country at Crossroad with Chemical Attacks: India’s Position

Syria was once a prosperous and a peaceful Nation in the Middle East. It was a country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts. Diverse ethnic and religious groups including Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma’ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews stayed there.

Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. However after Arab Spring (the rise of the Democratic movement in the Middle East) in March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa in Syria some young people were arrested and tortured when they painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Syrian security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing several, so more people took to the streets.

This unrest triggered nationwide protests demanding President Assad’s resignation., So the rebels against President Bashar Al Assad was supported by ISIS or Islamic State and the never-dying Al Qaeda. Anti-government protests escalated into a full-scale civil war. This made instability and sectarian conflict in Syria and got divided on the basis of Shia and Sunni  Politics.

President Bashar al-Assad is a Shia and he is supported by Iran, Russia, Lebanon. While Sunni led Saudi Arabia, Qatar support ISIS and rebels. Rebels, not ISIS is also supported by America, England and others. This outside actors intervention in the conflict has led the nation to devastation.  Now more than 350,000 Syrians have lost their lives in Six years of armed conflict. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other – as well as jihadist militants from so-called Islamic State.

“Come and Save me,” Syrian children hold Pokemon posters in hope of help

The Worst thing about Syrian Conflict is the use of Chemicals as weapons on civilians by both the sides. Though Syria is a signatory of Chemical Weapons Convention Thousands of people have become a victim of it. Now at least 70 people have died in a suspected chemical attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta reported medical, monitoring and activist groups there.

“Seventy people suffocated to death and hundreds are still suffocating,” said Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets. The pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center tweeted that more than 75 people had “suffocated”, while a further 1,000 people had suffered the effects of the alleged attack. It blamed a barrel bomb allegedly dropped by a helicopter which it said contained Sarin, a toxic nerve agent. The Union of Medical Relief Organizations, a US-based charity that works with Syrian hospitals had confirmed 70 deaths.

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several suburbs of Damascus. Western powers said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government, but the government blamed rebel forces.

ISIS has also been accused of using homemade chemical weapons, including sulphur mustard. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the blister agent was used in an attack on the northern town of Marea in August 2015 that killed a baby. The Rebels are using Children, Women, Old and common people as a shield where ever they are losing.  5 April 2017 more than 100 people died after the Government forces used Sarin Gas.

A UN commission of inquiry has evidence that all parties to the conflict have committed war crimes – including murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances. They have also been accused of using civilian suffering – such as blocking access to food, water and health services through sieges – as a method of war. The UN Security Council has demanded all parties end the indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas, but civilians continue to die in their thousands.

IS has also been accused by the UN of waging a campaign of terror. It has inflicted severe punishments on those who transgress or refuse to accept its rules, including hundreds of public executions and amputations. Its fighters have also carried out mass killings of rival armed groups, members of the security forces and religious minorities, and beheaded hostages, including several Westerners.

India has always maintained its opposition to external military intervention in Syria and asked for all parties involved to engage in dialogue for a political solution. “There can be no military solution to this conflict,” said an Indian Ministry of External Affairs statement in 2013. Many Indians labour from all walk came back to due to conflict. Together with its consortium partners, China among them, India had to abandon its oil investments in Syria due to security concerns in 2013. Reducing the spread of terrorism, a peaceful democratic Syria, reconstruction and redevelopment is  India’s position on Syria.

At last, one can say that Syria is at crossroad nobody is winning in this war except bullets and chemicals. The Peace Process is also in nutshell. So United Nations should lead and bring Syrian Government and Opposition to peace. Division on the basis of Sectarianism, Region is not the solution. Already millions of Syrian have become refugees in the world, militarily suffered from war and chemical attacks giving the confidence to live, Jobs, Development and Peace is the solution. Will Syria become a stable nation in the future, does democracy and development will happen there has to be seen otherwise it will be a battleground for others to fight in Syrian Soil for their Games….and their people will be victims. It is a big tragedy that ancient cities are losing their identity due to Religion and Sectarian Conflicts…..It is a lesson for few people who don’t respect unity in diversity and want to go for separatism as World has proved living together can benefit humanity more than parochialism or fundamentalism of their religion or ideology or their individual power.  That is why India advocated Unity in Diversity and Togetherness.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

TS Chandrashekar

TS Chandrashekar is the Deputy Director of a state-funded trade organisation.

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