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Aleppo is the gateway to a regional war

February 19, 2016 at 11:08 am

The moral responsibility to save human lives and preserve human dignity in accordance with UN conventions is not limited to some countries or nations. However, it seems that if Syria is a yardstick to measure the level of humanity and morality in our unjust globalised world, which has become cruel in every sense of the word, then it has been stripped of all known and supposedly accepted humanitarian values and principles.

Russian arrogance and the economic agreements between Iran and the West have resulted in dangerous developments and shifts in the political equation and balance in the Middle East. The countries that possess the means to impose economic or military influence are those which are capable of shaping and controlling events. The failed countries and oppressive and totalitarian governments, meanwhile, do not hesitate to violate the rights and risk the lives of their people in order to preserve their own imposed status quo.

The responsibility to preserve the human rights and dignity of the people of Syria is not only Turkey’s, but also the countries involved directly in the Syrian conflict. The Russian insanity in Aleppo and the advancement of the Baathist forces and sectarian militias is pushing the entire area towards a regional war that threatens political stability in the medium and long-term. This will also create more destruction and human suffering; this threat is not limited to Syria if the international equations and actions remain the same, along with the violations committed by Assad and his supporters against helpless civilians. Violence and the use of military force against the civilians in Aleppo and other cities fuels terrorism and extremism. The state terrorism of Russia and Iran is no less dangerous and unacceptable than the terrorism of Daesh, especially as they have the same objective and result — the intimidation of the civilian population.

Ankara has provided what the international community has failed to provide in terms of humanitarian relief to the Syrian people. The new Russian scenario aims to put pressure on Turkey in order to achieve specific objectives for Moscow in the region, as well as to continue its rivalry and diplomatic spat with the Turkish government. However, the main victims of all of this are Syria’s helpless civilians, as Russia does not dare to engage in a direct clash with Turkey, nor does the latter want a direct confrontation with Russia. However, events on the ground suggest that the Russians are ignoring all human rights norms as well as the terms and principles of the Geneva Conventions.

Syria is the place where political history and geography will change. According to the new variable in the Syrian equation, the Sunni countries are likely to engage in a direct confrontation with Iranian proxies. The protection of the Syrian people will change from being state policy in some Arab countries to war and the adoption of more effective and interactive regional policies in order to restore some degree of balance and influence.

The battle for control of Aleppo will mean new mass graves and brutal violations by sectarian militias. Any advancement towards taking the city by force, under Russian and Iranian influence, will be the key to a major regional war and the chaos that it will, inevitably, bring.

Translated from Alkhaleejonline, 16 February, 2016.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.