Syria, on April 13, was hit by 105 missiles launched collectively by the United States of America, France and Britain in retaliation for a suspected use of chemical agents against the citizens in the country a week ago. The attack targeted at three chemical weapons facilities was the biggest intervention by the Western Countries in war-torn Syria.
The three countries claimed that the strikes were limited to chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Bashar Assad from the seat of power. This is the second attack by US against Syria’s chemical weapons use. The fact that the first one failed to deter Assad regime had made some experts question whether any strike like this one would have a real effect on the Syrian government’s ability to carry out chemical attacks.
The US-led alliance raised eyebrows for acting in contravention of international law. The strikes took before the organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons even began investigation to ascertain whether the chemical weapons had in fact been used. While Russia and other Syrian allies denounced the attack, the US led alliance warned that they could launch further attacks if the chemical agents are used again.
President Trump basking in the success of the strikes flooded the internet with tweets claiming “Mission Accomplished”.
But has the mission really been accomplished ?
Inspired by Arab Spring, the successful uprisings that toppled Tunisia’s and Egypt’s presidents, the pro-democracy activists in Syria had led peaceful protests against the unemployment, corruption and lack of political freedom under Bashar Assad’s government with the hope to overthrow him. The protests turned violent when Assad responded to the protests by killing hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoning more. In July 2011, defectors from the military announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group aiming to overthrow the government, and Syria began to slide into civil war.
As the violence escalated, mortar attacks replaced shooting, the most common cause of death in Syria, followed by the regime-led aerial strikes and use of chemical weapons. Causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left 1.5 million with permanent disabilities and uprooted 6.1 million Syrians from their homes.
While the US, Turkey, UK and other western countries back the rebels, Assad is backed by Russia and Iran. There is no denying that Assad has used brute force against his own people but the involvement of many groups and countries with their own agendas are only prolonging the war making the situation more complex. Over 13.1 million people require some kind of humanitarian help in Syria!
What the war-torn Syrians need is an end to the war that has killed over 4,65,000 Syrians since 2011.
The mission is far from being accomplished. Nine UN mediated peace talks have shown little progress and there is no sign of war coming to an end. In the meanwhile the civilian sufferings have increased with blocked access to food, water, health and increasing war crimes including murders, torture, rapes and forced disappearances…
“We’re just living on the edge of life. We’re always nervous, we are always afraid
Mother-of-nine Mariam Akash, whose husband was killed by a sniper. Source – BBC