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The West is caught in a nut cracker on Syria



Defeat of the rebels in the battle for the town of Qusair, the last bastion they have been holding, brought little relief to war-ravaged Syria. The battle came to an end but the war for the control of Syria still rages. Different rebel groups are reuniting to resume the fight. The United States and its allies in Europe are once again setting themselves up for the defeated, learning nothing from their misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington has decided to arm the rebels paving paths to a full-scale intervention in the country at a later stage. Even as the American involvement in Syria remains limited at present it is an enough provocation which may entice Iran and Russia to step up their participations.  A section of the media in Britain, especially The Independent, has said that "a military decision has been taken in Iran — even before last week's presidential election — to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar Al Assad's forces". Russia may not send its soldiers in Syria to fight Assad's war for survival. But it is certainly going to step up its supply of weapons to the regime. And all these will surely keep the Syrian cauldron boiling ad infinitum.

American decision to supply light weapons to the rebels is a poor thought. Pitted against the heavily armed pro-Assad forces the rebels with light weapons will not stand even a chance to put up any fight. And that is exactly what Washington and its friends in London and Paris are looking forward to. Yet another defeat of the rebels and yet fresh bouts of massacres will probably pave the way for their bigger intervention. There is no denying the fact that if this happens and if the West intervenes as major player into what is essentially a Syrian domestic matter, a regional bloodbath will begin. War for Syria will then become the first multi-national, rather a world war on a limited scale, war of the post-Cold War era.

Washington's decision to arm the rebels and keep the war going lacks rationale and demonstrates America's vacillations. It is caught between devil and the deep sea. British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking ahead of the inauguration of G8 summit in Northern Ireland, has articulated the equivocation in no uncertain terms. The United States and Europe are now confronted by an "opposition, elements of which are extremely dangerous terrorists. It's an extraordinarily difficult situation, but I think we should be engaged rather than disengaged." West's dilemma could not have been starker.

Yet, peace in Syria is nowhere on its agenda. It is ready to risk sliding down the slopes to full-scale war because the United States and Europe are not willing to accept Assad's victory. The Syrian president has to lose and at whatever it takes. At least 100,000 people have already died and by the time Assad can be defeated, if at all, there shall probably be none standing in Syria.


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