Guest Post by NAUMAN SADIQ
Let me admit at the outset that Assad is an illegitimate tyrant who must abdicate his hereditary throne to the will of the people when the opportune moment arrives. But at the moment our primary concern shouldn’t be bringing democracy to Syria; at the moment our first and foremost priority should be reducing the level of violence in Syria. There are two parties to this conflict: the regime and the rebels (the majority of whom are takfiri jihadis). It is not possible for the regime to deescalate the conflict because it is holding a tiger by the tail. The regime is fighting a war of defense; and what is at stake in this war is its survival; not only its survival but the survival of its clan: the Alawite minority of 2.6 million people who comprise 12% population of Syria’s 22 million people.
The second party to the conflict is the rebels who are generously supported by the Gulf monarchies, Turkey (Sunni Muslims), Western powers and Israel. Don’t get alarmed and be dismissive of the possibility of an alliance  between the Sunni Muslims of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and the Zionists of Israel. It is realpolitik: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In fact the Western interest in this war is partly about Israel’s regional security because the Shia axis comprising Iran-Syria-Hezbollah is an existential threat to Israel; and with each passing year the nature of this threat will enhance proportionally with the increased sophistication of Iranian missile program. During the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon, most of the rockets fired by Hezbollah into the Israeli territory missed their target; but according to some reports Iran and Hezbollah have already developed smarter missiles and with every passing year the threat of Hezbollah’s guided missiles so close to Israeli borders will keep on haunting the Israeli strategists’ dreams. Continue reading Syrian Jihad spawned the Islamic State: Nauman Sadiq
This guest post by ALIA ALLANA, a despatch from Istanbul, is the seventh in Kafila series of ground reports from the Arab Spring. Photos by Alia Allana unless otherwise mentioned
Adib Shishakly’s rebellion starts with a small pin on his blue blazer.
Embellishing the the blue of his jacket, clipped on to the left collar is a flag of Syria not seen since the days following the French mandate. Today the flag flies in the besieged areas of Homs, Hama and Dera’a where the protestors have posed Bashar al Assad’s regime with it’s biggest challenge to date. It’s this very flag, with its three golden stars that was outlawed by the Ba’ath Party, by strong man Hafez al Assad.
Continue reading Adib Shishakly – The Rebel in the Hotel Room: Alia Allana
This guest post by ALIA ALLANA is a despatch for Kafila from Damascus, the Syrian capital. All photos by Alia Allana
“You don’t think I’m afraid?” asked Bouthaina Shaaban, advisor to Syrian President, Bashar al Assad.
We were sitting in the Ministry of Protocol in Damascus and she tugged on her black pearl necklace and fidgeted with her black and white tweed jacket. She had more reason to be afraid, she said – not just because she was a woman but also because she is a supporter of the current regime.
Continue reading The Minister of Information maintains that there is no revolution: Alia Allana reports from Damascus
This guest post by ALIA ALLANA is a despatch for Kafila from Homs, Syria. All photos by Alia Allana
He was found shot in the chest, bleeding on the streets, alone.
He has no name. He’s just another struggling body in the hospital in Homs — only he’s much younger than most. He’s only four. He doesn’t move, his small frail body is gobbled by wires. The doctors say he hasn’t opened his eyes, hasn’t made a sound, nor has he called out for anyone. Saliva runs down his mouth but there is no one to wipe it off his face. This isn’t the first case and the doctors fear it won’t be the last. There will be other children who will take his place, there will be more victims of random shooting, more deaths and no one knows by whose gun. Continue reading A Despatch from Homs: Alia Allana
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL wants you to sign the statement below
It has been over four months since the beginning of largely peaceful protests in Syria calling for political reform and for the Syrian President to step down. The Syrian authorities’ response to their people’s demands has so far been brutal to say the least. Continue reading ‘Ask Brazil, South Africa and India to help stop the bloodshed in Syria’