Is there hope for Syria in sight?
Nobody thought that the military action in Syria would last that long. The country has been engulfed in a civil war for nearly two yeas, and the end is nowhere in sight. On the contrary, the situation gets increasingly more aggravated every day, and the number of victims is growing. When would this confrontation end and what would its outcome be? What is in store for the Syrian people?
At a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the situation in Syria was becoming increasingly more tragic and there were no prospects for a political settlement of the issue in sight. According to the UN estimates, so far nearly 70,000 people have been killed, and the number of refugees exceeded 700,000.
Ban Ki-moon said that he supported the initiative endorsed by the head of the National Coalition opposition Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib providing for a dialogue with the Syrian authorities.
"We cannot miss this opportunity," said Ban Ki-moon. The same statement was recently made at a briefing in Moscow by Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. He stressed that the situation in Syria was deteriorating and the internal conflict remained strong.
Now it is important for the parties to the conflict to engage in a dialogue, Lukashevich said, adding that Russia would continue to work with the government and the opposition in Syria. In recent weeks, the Syrian rebels have become more active. Militants took hostages 45 passengers of a bus heading from the province of Idlib to Damascus. A few days earlier the opposition seized the largest dam in Syria on the Euphrates River. Every day there is information on the dead and wounded.
The armed confrontation between the government forces and armed opposition groups in Syria has been ongoing since March of 2011. Tens of thousands of people were killed in this Arab country, and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee. Syrian authorities believe that they are opposed by well-armed militants supported by the West.
Syria has remained the main topic of the world politics in the last two years. Contrary to the predictions of several Arab and Western media outlets, the government of President Bashar al-Assad, backed by the majority of the population, is standing strong against the international terrorist group collected virtually from around the world.
According to some local media, special forces from Turkey, France and the UK are involved in the Syrian conflict. Barack Obama signed a document that allows the CIA to assist the Syrian rebels. Western intelligence agencies are working hard to consolidate the rebel groups and subsequently transform them into a full-fledged army that will have even heavy weapons.
Initially, the armed opposition has sought to establish control over separate regions of the country, simultaneously terrorizing Alawite, Christian, and Druze enclaves, but then focused on the destabilization of Damascus.
The rebels failed in the Syrian capital and made a strike at the trade and economic capital of the country, Aleppo.
The conference supported by the Brookings Institution in Washington was a cover for the political opposition. As a result of the conference, creation of a transitional government of Syria was announced. Coalition "Friends of Syria" (NATO, Turkey, Gulf monarchies, the Salafis, the militants of "Muslim Brotherhood" and "Al Qaeda") is trying to dominate in the UN, not without success.
Political and diplomatic moves of the coalition unfailingly run into a consistent and clear position of China and Russia. A fierce media war has been launched against Russia. The West accuses Russia of refusing to "keep up" with the rest of the "civilized world community." The same mantra was used during the bombing of Yugoslavia. The leaders supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition and trying to impose fake international bureaucracy on another country should not be equated with a real voice of the international community.
Some analysts believe that Western intelligence agencies are preparing a large-scale international crime with the use of chemical weapons that the Syrian leadership and the Russian authorities as accomplices will be accused of. What is behind the violent street clashes and political and diplomatic confrontation?
The irreconcilable nature of the struggle, above all, is explained by the geopolitics. Various interests of many countries have come into a conflict in Syria. This Middle Eastern country is considered to be a link between the Shiite organizations in the region and Iran, which is very important in light of the U.S. attempts to use the Shia-Sunni controversy, creating the required conditions for a military action against Iran. "Syria is only the prelude to a conflict with Iran, and the Western countries are doing their best to approach Iran at the time when Tehran is weakened by dropping out of its regional ally, Syria," said a representative of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
The second theme of contradictions is natural resources, namely, extraction and transportation of oil and gas. Syria has significant gas reserves. The West also plans to use its territory for construction of oil and gas pipelines from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean coast. In addition, Syria is the only secular Arab regime that, despite of the unimaginable brutality of rebels, did not sink into the "controlled chaos" promoted by some strategists as the "bright future" for the Middle East and the entire humanity outside of the "golden billion".
Moscow is trying to prevent the Middle East and the rest of the world from sliding into a civilizational catastrophe. Russia stated that it was ready to provide its territory for the negotiations between the authorities and the opposition in Syria. However, Damascus believes that the dialogue with the opposition must take place in the Arab Republic.
Russia seeks to resolve the Syrian conflict through democratic means, advocating the extension of "action groups" in Syria through the inclusion of several new countries, said Mikhail Bogdanov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"The "action groups" can be expanded through such influential external players as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iran," said the deputy minister.
Mikhail Bogdanov also mentioned that Moscow was planning to organize a meeting of the "quartet" on the Middle East settlement at the ministerial level. It was proposed to hold the meeting in March, along with the UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, or in April, at the meeting of G-8 in London.
Russia has never supported the regime of Bashar al-Assad, as recently stated by Sergei Lavrov. However, he added that Moscow strongly opposed a military intervention in this Arab country.
"All our actions are aimed at compliance with the Geneva agreement on the development of the transitional governing body in Syria." "We want to stabilize the situation and create conditions for the people of Syria so they could determine the fate of the nation and the country," said Sergey Lavrov.
This issue is of concern to many, but there is no simple answer. For example, President Bashar al-Assad recently said that if Turkey ceased passing weapons and militants through its border, the war in Syria would end in two weeks. However, today the border between Syria and Turkey remains restless.
Syria will see peace only if the parties to the conflict find strength to sit down at the negotiations table and solve their problems without interference of the West. So far, it is hard to believe because blood is shed every day.