Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:26:37 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Assad's battlefield wins seem to be an illusion of security

By
06th-Aug-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Arnab Neil Sengupta :
European diplomats have made it clear to the Russians and Assad that no EU reconstruction money will be forthcoming in the absence of an agreed-upon political transition.
Just when the world was wondering if the worst was over in Syria's civil war, came a shocking reminder of the scope for further barbarism in the form of a coordinated assault by Daesh, which killed more than 200 people in the country's southwest.
President Bashar Al Assad's forces and allied fighters are trying as hard as they can to convince the world that their air and ground campaign is aimed at restoring stability to areas over which "terrorist organisations" hold sway.
But as the July 25 attacks on Suwayda city and nearby villages in the Jebel al-Arab area demonstrate, what the regime has been able to establish so far is merely an illusion of security, to say nothing of stability. The massacre of 142 civilians and the abduction of dozens of women from the predominantly Druze area by the Daesh fighters is a tragic reminder that defeating rebels in scattered battles is not necessarily the same as winning the war.
Arrogance engendered by its military success may be spurring the Assad regime on to pave the way unwittingly for a comeback by the most violent elements of the armed opposition at a time civilians lack protection in large parts of Syria.Thus, now is as good a time as any for Western powers and their Arab allies at the UN to intensify their efforts to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to show some tough love towards Assad.
Admittedly, Russia has hardly been waging a clean war itself on Assad's behalf, carrying out indiscriminate air attacks against rebel-held areas that are killing women and children and pulverising homes and infrastructure, thus alienating the civilian population.
Still, lessons of the deadly insurgency that the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan spawned - and which ultimately hastened the unravelling of the Soviet Union - have surely not been lost on the Russian generals advising the Syrian army brass. The onus is on Putin to remind the Syrian leader of the timeless wisdom of the British statesman.
To start with, Assad cannot persist with his demands that the Syrian opposition coalition, the US-backed SDF comprising Arab and Kurdish forces, and sundry Sunni rebel groups be excluded from any political settlement if he wants to see genuine reconciliation and the return of over 5.6 million refugees.
The recent talks that followed the invitation extended by his government to the SDF's political wing have raised hopes that Assad may be receiving sound advice from the Russians, who want to see the rebuilding process commence and perhaps want to scale back their involvement.
To their credit, European diplomats have made it clear to the Russians and Assad that no EU reconstruction money will be forthcoming in the absence of an agreed-upon political transition, "with constitutional and electoral processes carried out in a sincere way", to quote the words of the French.
The Russians too have a point: that Syria's reconstruction must not be influenced by politics. But first, Assad must deliver his part of the bargain if he wants Western donors to cough up $200bn for a process that could take up to 15 years and be fraught with risks.
That would mean dusting off a road-map plan hammered out at a meeting in Geneva in 2012 ago by UN Security Council members starting with the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including drafting a new constitution, and ending with elections. Even if Putin could coax or compel Assad to meet some of the Geneva communique's conditions, there would still remain on Syrian soil a large Iranian presence, accompanied by Hezbollah fighters and Shia paramilitary units.
What role they currently have is hard for war-weary Syrians to fathom, other than to make it easier for Sunni extremist groups to recruit volunteers to target vulnerable communities as happened in Suwayda on July 25.
The buffer zone proposed by the Russians on the Syrian side of the border with Israel that would be off-limits to Iranian forces may buy time for Tehran to position its long-range missiles at a safe distance from a devastating Israeli assault.
But a deployment of Iranian missiles, whether 100km from the Israel border or further away, would serve no apparent purpose except as another affront to Syrians' dignity. Following the Suwayda attacks, Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze, said: "We want (Russia's) guarantee to the people of the Jebel that they will remain in the Jebel and not be used by Bashar as fodder, living or dead, for his personal ends."
Jumblatt may have been speaking for the Druze, but his words could just as easily be interpreted as a message to Putin from defenceless Syrians cutting across all religious, sectarian, ethnic and political lines.
(Arnab Neil Sengupta is an independent journalist and commentator on Middle East)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

The authoritarian ruler must go


THE Maldives' top court on Sunday ended weeks of uncertainty by rejecting strongman President Abdulla Yameen's controversial bid to annul last month's election results, upholding his landslide defeat to the opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim ...

Cricket »

Asia Cup knock still Imrul's best


After registering his highest ODI score in the series opener against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh batsman Imrul Kayes has still rated it as his 'second-best' innings.Imrul smashed 140-ball 144 runs including 13 fours and 6 maximums against Zimbabwe which helped Tigers win by 28 runs in the first ODI at Mirpur.Even after ...

Football »

Messi injury means Coutinho, Dembele must step up for Barca


AP, Barcelona :With Lionel Messi out with a broken arm, the two most expensive signings in Barcelona's history have a perfect opportunity to step up and show their value.Barcelona spent more than 300 million euros to sign Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho and France forward Ousmane Dembele last season as it ...

International »

Turkey turns up heat on Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi


AFP  :Turkey's pro-government media published new claims on Monday linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to reveal the "naked truth" about the case.Erdogan said at the weekend he would give new details in a speech on ...

International »

Nnamdi Kanu: Nigerian separatist leader resurfaces in Israel


Missing Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has resurfaced in Israel more than a year after soldiers stormed his home. "I'm in Israel," Mr Kanu said on Sunday in a broadcast on his outlawed pirate radio station - Radio Biafra. A video of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) leader praying ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina administering oath to the newly elected Mayor of Barishal City Corporation Serniabat Sadik Abdullah at her office in the city on Monday.


Entertainment »

Emon, Airin pair up in movie for first time


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular film actor Emon and model cum actress Airin Sultana have paired up for the first time in a movie titled Akash Mohol. Noted filmmaker Delwar Jahan Jhontu is making the movie under the banner of Impress Telefilm. The shooting of the movie began at the Bangladesh ...

Cricket »

Imrul Kayes scores career best 144


Bangladeshi opening batsman Imrul Kayes proved his worth scoring his 3rd ODI century with career best 144 runs in a tough situation against Zimbabwe in the first match of the three-match ODI series at the home of Bangladesh Cricket-Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.When Bangladesh were losing wickets on ...

Football »

Emery's Arsenal face gruelling week


Unai Emery admits Arsenal will struggle to cope with a draining schedule that sees them host Leicester at the start of three games in seven days.Emery's side will be pushed to the limit by the television schedulers, who moved their Premier League clash with the Foxes to Monday evening at ...

Entertainment »

Shahnoor: Shukla of movie Indubala


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Shahnoor loves acting in different roles. She always feels comfortable to present herself in challenging roles. For this reason, she was seen to act in such type of roles in recently acted movies. As a part of its continuation, she is going to work in a challenging ...

City »

Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Jubo Dal and other organisations brought out a procession protesting verdict against BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman in August 21 grenade attack case at Kalyanpur area in the city yesterday .


International »

Withdrawal from nuclear arms deal `dangerous step` for US: Moscow


AFP, Moscow: Withdrawing from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia as US President Donald Trump has announced he plans to do is a dangerous step, Russia's deputy foreign minister warned on Sunday."This would be a very dangerous step that, I'm sure, not only will not be comprehended by ...

Editorial »

Khashoggi`s brutal murder has brutally damaged image of Saudi Kingdom


The Saudi Kingdom has ultimately confirmed that writer and critic Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul city.  Saudi state media reported Khashoggi was killed in "fist-fight" with the Kingdom's officials inside its consulate. The announcement marked a U-turn from the Kingdom, which had previously denied ...

International »

Khashoggi criticises Saudi Prince in newly released interview


Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "authoritarian rule" shortly before his death, in an interview published following confirmation he died at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.Speaking off the record to a Newsweek journalist working on a story about the Saudi leadership, he insisted he did not view ...

Business & Economy »

Economists sign declaration against Brazil frontrunner


AFP, Rio De Janeiro :More than 350 economists -- among them a Nobel Prize winner -- have signed a declaration saying Brazil's frontrunner to be president, far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, is not the best choice for his country.The experts stated that Bolsonaro's leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, was "the best alternative" ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news