by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 3, Rajab, 1437)
The people of Syria and Yemen would want nothing better than peace but foreign powers are determined to continue the mayhem with tragic loss of life.
Has some demonic death wish gripped the people of Syria and Yemen that they do not want peace? Those familiar with the reality in both countries — and many more countries in the troubled region — would dismiss this assertion out of hand for obvious reasons. If it were for the people in the two countries, they would want peace right away but they are not the masters of their destiny. Their fate is determined by outside powers that are hell-bent on imposing their agendas on these hapless people. The UN-brokered Syrian peace talks in Geneva have gone nowhere because the opposition groups, under instructions from their foreign masters, are making ludicrous demands that can only sabotage the prospects of a negotiated settlement.
The bloodletting in Syria began more than five years ago through a conspiracy hatched jointly by Saudi, American, and Israeli officials in Paris. The terrible trio instigated opportunistic Syrians, most of them living in exile in London, Paris, or Washington and promised them a quick victory with Bashar al-Asad’s head to be presented on a platter. The conspirators claimed the Syrian regime — like that in Libya of Muammar al-Qaddafi — would be overthrown in a matter of months if not sooner. Turkey, Jordan, and Qatar also joined in this diabolical plot.
Qatar’s former prime minister, Shaykh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, now living in London, confirmed in an interview with the British daily, the Financial Times, on April 15 that Doha was supposed to be lead player in the Syrian uprising. It had little to do with the internal situation. He also revealed that Saudi Arabia was initially reluctant to get involved but later took over the lead role from Qatar. This is belied by the deep involvement of former Saudi intelligence chief, Bandar bin Sultan in instigating the mayhem. Haytham al-Manna‘, one of the Syrian opposition leaders opposed to armed insurrection to overthrow the government, revealed this soon after the February 2011 conspiratorial meeting in Paris that he attended!
The Syrian mayhem has resulted in nearly 400,000 deaths, almost half of Syria’s population displaced, and the country’s infrastructure almost totally destroyed. What did this achieve? Al-Asad is still in power and there appears little prospect that he will be overthrown anytime soon; the Syrian army on the other hand is unable to deliver the knockout blow to wipe out the terrorists and other so-called moderate rebels, and now the US is sending additional Special Forces into Syria — without permission from Damascus, one might add — as well as planning to provide more lethal weapons to the rebels. Russia’s reduction in air strikes has meant that the Syrian army is unable to seal the border with Turkey that serves as a conduit for weapons and men so that the mayhem can continue.
What should one conclude from all this? It appears clear that outside powers want the fighting and mayhem to continue. Its intended purpose is to weaken the Syrian state to such an extent that it would be rendered incapable of providing much help to the resistance front against Israel. This point may already have been reached. The Syrian army is badly depleted and exhausted even if several militias — both internal and external — are providing much needed support. The destruction of Syria was meant to secure the Zionist regime in Occupied Palestine. That objective also seems to have been achieved as witnessed by the Zionists’ creeping annexation of al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and the brazen declaration that the occupied Golan Heights are theirs in perpetuity! Concurrently, Arabian rulers are rushing to embrace the Zionist monster in order to fight Islamic Iran.
In Yemen, the situation is reversed. It faces a full-fledged invasion from abroad, led by the Najdi bandits that have illegally occupied the Arabian Peninsula. The Najdi barbarians have killed thousands of innocent people in Yemen and have imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country resulting in 22 million of its 24 million people being food deficient. The Najdi Bedouins have also used cluster bombs to attack schools, hospitals, homes as well as factories. These constitute war crimes but given that the imperialists and Zionists are providing protection to the Najdi bandits, they can get away with such crimes, at least for now. This may change with circumstances that cannot be ruled out.
Like in Syria, the Yemeni peace talks are also not getting anywhere. The Houthis and their allies joined the UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait only after receiving assurances from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that the Saudis would stop bombing their country and the ceasefire that was supposed to go into effect on April 11 would be respected. The Houthis joined the talks on April 21 but there is little discernible progress. Why?
The fugitive former president, ‘Abd Rabb Mansour Hadi hiding in Saudi Arabia has been making demands that bear little resemblance to ground realities. For instance, he insists — at the behest of his foreign masters — that the Houthi Ansarallah militia withdraw from the capital city Sana‘a and surrender all their weapons. Unlike, Sana‘a, the Ansarallah do not control Aden or Ta’iz, and with Hadi loyalist forces controlling these two cities, al-Qaeda and Da‘ish terrorist groups have been emboldened and are running amok.
The Ansarallah fighters will not allow Sana‘a to suffer the same fate nor will they surrender their weapons when those making the demand — Hadi and his Saudi masters — have no legitimacy. Only the people of Yemen can decide its future, not the Najdi bandits or their stooges. What Hadi’s thuggish militias could not take from Ansarallah by force, they are demanding through negotiations. It is the same in Syria: thwarted in their aim to overthrow al-Asad’s government by force, the terrorists and their foreign sponsors are trying to maneuver him to surrendering power at the negotiating table.
Given these ground realities, people in both Syria and Yemen will continue to suffer because it does not appear that the foreign-imposed wars will end anytime soon.