Political escalations in Syria are reaching a humanitarian crisis after the army intervened to protect President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
By Dr. Khairi Omar
Rabat – Despite the announcement of ending the state of emergency, military force is now the primaryoption of the Syrian authority, opening the doors to international intervention to protect civilians.
Decisive political options
The army’s raid of the Syrian city of Daraa signifies that the Syrian governments will not tolerate further protests and will do all that is possible to end the protests and rid itself of the protesters, whether in Daraa or elsewhere.
Syria has a history of ending protests through the army, such as the incident of the destruction of the city of Hama in 1982 in light of the conflict between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is symbolic of the Syrian regime’s lack of ability to compromise and its adherence to military force.
Despite the political differences regionally and internationally, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime will change its means of managing the political crisis Syria is currently undergoing.
During the past several days, the Syrian regime initiated a media campaign to condemn the protesters. The campaign asserted the existence of armed groups amongst the protesters, and accused the Salafi trend of using weapons against security forces and the army.
Source of stress
The reason the Syrian regime commonly resorts to military force is because the elitists in Syrian society are those who make up the military management and establishment.
In the past decades, this became more evident, where these same individuals took strong hold of not only the military, but partisan activities as well, dominating the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (a secularist party).
This became the source of political stress for the majority of Sunni Muslims who are discriminated against by authorities.
It should be noted as well that the Syrian regime is fully aware that it would not receive any external, with the exception of Iran, aid or safe haven. Therefore, the only option it has available is the use of military force.
While the Syrian regime is gaining support from Iran and Hezbollah, there are many others who are either siding with the protesters or are indifferent, such as the Gulf countries who are attempting to prevent Iran from gaining influence in the Arab region.
In addition to the Gulf countries, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey are also striving to achieve safe transition of power in Syria, as well as preventing possible chaos or regional conflicts that may detriment its stability.
In this stage, many Arab countries are attempting to attract people towards Arab politics in light of the threat of revolutionary organizations. Perhaps the delay in the Arab League and Arab Interior Ministers’ meetings further illustrates the extent of division the Arab World is currently experiencing.
In this context, the relationship between Syria and Iran poses a threat to Arabs in general. This threat has many aspects, the most momentous of which is Iran’s strive to gain power and influence in Arab countries, through deploying Shiite missionaries, supporting Hezbollah, influencing the Iraqi government, and forming close ties with Houthis in Yemen.
The current situations in Syria may push for international intervention to protect Syrian civilians in a manner much like Libya’s, where the international intervention gains regional and international legitimacy, allowing NATO forces to take military action to secure its interests in the area.
This escalation, if it happens, will raise many questions with regards to the future of Arab revolutions and where they may lead the country. In reality, there are three aspects threatening Arab revolutions; foreign intervention, internal conflicts, and the states’ already fragile situations. These aspects may hinder the desired outcomes of these revolutions.