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THE international community seems to have abandoned its duty to end the slaughter in Syria; instead, the rivals are being armed. With the European Union lifting its arms embargo on Syrian rebels, and Moscow confirming the sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the regime, ground has been prepared for more bloodshed in the Levant. Both the EU and Russia have criticised each other’s move, trading accusations that more arms to the belligerents will mean a prolongation of the conflict. Critical they might be of each other, both must know they are contributing to a widening and worsening of the Syrian conflict.

Israel, which has already fired missiles on its northern neighbour three times, has declared it will not allow the Russian missiles to reach Syria, because they could fall into Hezbollah’s hands. The Shia militia is already a factor in the conflict. It is fighting on the side of the Baathist government, raising fears that Lebanon could be sucked into the conflict. Just recently, three Lebanese soldiers were killed by suspected Hezbollah guerrillas. With three regional states — Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — on the rebels’ side, with the EU pledging more arms for them and Russia offering missiles to Damascus, there is every possibility the conflict could widen and add to Syria’s misfortunes. Already, 1.3 million Syrians have become refugees. Instead of arming either side, the Western powers and Russia should do spadework for the proposed peace talks in Geneva. Earlier this month, Washington and Moscow agreed to convene a peace conference with the avowed aim of forming a transitional government and holding general elections. However, the moves made by the EU and Russia have all but sabotaged the conference. The ones to suffer will be the Syrian people.

Comments (1) Closed

Human May 30, 2013 07:46pm
The newspaper some get some facts straight here. While Russia supplying S300s, they cannot be used against the rebels. They can only be used for defence, if Syria is attacked by Israel or anyone else. On the other hand the so called rebels are committing atrocities against minorities with the arms they are getting. Also, the attack on the Lebanese soldiers was by Syrian rebels and not Hezbollah, as Hezbollah is not going to gain anything by attacking Lebanese soldiers. The bottom line is that both sides need to sit and talk. The Assad regime is willing to talk for a long time but the so called rebels dont want to, as they are American puppets, whose only goal is the destruction of Syria to help Israel in their land grab. I wish all Muslims could have understood this game plan and not fallen in the trap. Allah knows best