Syria: Hezbollah joins escalated war hysteria
Syria's conflict began as an uprising against Assad's authoritarian rule and the political situation seems to be boiling as new entrants to the war hysteria in Syria rings alarm bells especially when Egypt’s Sheik Mohamed el – zoghbi gave a call to all young men from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq to prepare for a decisive fight against Assad regime. In retaliation, Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah in fervour also gave a call to extend full support to Basher-ul-Assad and its reported overt entry into Syria widening the sectarian divisions of Sunnis and Shias throughout the middle-east.
The recent gains made by Assad regime against the rebels are attributed to Hezbollah’s entry into the fray and its long-time ally Iran extending moral, financial and material support to the operation in Syria. And significantly, as reported the reluctant US support and help for the rebel movement has slowed down considerably due to the reason that Syrian rebels are joined by militants from Chechnya, Somalia who, as believed, are having close ties with al-Qaida.
The trajectory of Syrian civil war highlights the wave of uprisings, calls for democracy leading to toppling of despotic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. It is also believed that the urge for democracy in the countries have been guided by restoration of religious identities. Mohammed Abu Samra, head of the Islamist Party said that the Syrian revolution is to "bring down the Assad regime" and if it turns sectarian then the purpose of the revolution will be lost”.
The escalation in the war has pushed thousands from Palestinian well established refugee community into Lebanon and crossing into Syria of Hezbollah fighters to consolidate their positions to help Assad armed forces to mount attacks on rebel stronghold successfully inflicting damage and huge causalities.
The Amnesty International quotes a report saying that Syria, at the moment, is the most dangerous place in the world with reports of unprecedented human right abuses deliberately targeted by both sides. It also reported that nearly 36 journalists were killed and dozens more attacked and detained, with no clue about their whereabouts.
A UN report mentions that at least 70, 000 people have perished since February 2011 and the number is on the rise. Thousands of people arrested, detained and an unknown number of people held incommunicado facing torture and brutalities. People on daily basis are facing extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and enforced disappearances.
The call for the regime to end its rule is gaining momentum; though the rebels face suppression with an iron fist and Assad regime stubbornly refuses to accept any of rebel demands. The defiance received the flip as the supply of war machines from Russia and support from its allies continues unabated with a morale booster due from Hezbollah joining the war, backed by Iran, with its guerrilla contingents having gained huge experience giving some tough time to Israel during the border-war.
The rising number of deaths in the conflict is a stark reminder that what started as a peaceful demand for political freedom for democracy turned into an armed struggle with devastating consequences. The international community and various human-right organisations have shown serious concern and feel that the situation cannot be allowed to continue as the lives of innocent civilians in hundreds and thousands are at risk. The ground reality, reports of war crimes with violation of laws right across the country by warring factions forcing civilians, believed to support the opposition, bear the brunt of increasing violence.
The opposition has also come under severe criticism for alleged human-right violations as reports of civilian abductions, tortured people and using of children in the hostilities are widespread and are urged to commit and abide by international law. The testimonies from people have been collected giving details of horror and upheaval caused by the regime’s army to silence those calling for human-rights in the country.
The armed groups of Syria under the banner FSA (Free Syrian army) are a conglomeration of various armed groups fighting ruling Syrian army and the confrontation has increased and human-right violations from both sides have gone up which is very disturbing.
The background scenario of the unrest apprises about the ruling Ba’ath party with its sweeping powers to its army empowering it to commit atrocities in the name of maintaining law and order. A slow process of joining hands to denounce iron hand tactics used by the regime started in 2011 but was forcibly crushed and suppressed. The international response was slow and inadequate and Russia and China played a substantive role to make UN Resolutions ineffective and at times were blocked.
The United Nations Security Council is called upon to refer the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes under international law, safeguarding civilian lives, end of systematic torture practices, ill-treatment and human-right violations. UNSC must do everything within its power to punish the perpetrators of the crimes committed in and around Syria.