August 30, 2013

War or more war

War or more war. These are the options for the Syrians right now. Nobody with power to do so is offering peace. They have a horrible war going on and an international community divided between two options: a military intervention or do nothing and let the war go on and on. Unless by some unlikely miracle the UN Security Council reach an agreement after the recent gas attack inspection. Both options means more violence for the people trapped in the war zone. The first one would bring unknown changes, the second would leave the situation as it is: stuck in an endless fight, with more people dying each day, more displaced people and more and more refugees in neighbor countries.

The US is continuing to seek an “international coalition” for action against Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, after the UK parliament rejected a resolution endorsing such action, the US Defense Secretary has said.

Chuck Hagel said on Friday that his country would continue to seek international partners who would “act together” in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack on August 21. By now France is the most likely partner in that journey, since Germany also said no. French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar Al Assad’s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians. Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies. Asked if France could take action without Britain, Hollande replied: “Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation. That is valid for Britain as it is for France.”

An US led strike on Syria is a dangerous move because of the international consequences. Above all with Iran saying it will be a retaliation on Israel. Everybody is getting ready for the fight. In Israel, additional Iron Dome anti-rocket defense batteries were deployed in various locations throughout the country, including Gush Dan, the greater Tel Aviv area.

Meanwhile the fighting in Syria continue. A BBC crew in Syria has filmed the aftermath of an “incendiary bomb dropped on to a school playground in the north of the country – which has left scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.” According to the BBC, eyewitnesses report seeing “a fighter jet dropping the device, a low explosion, followed by columns of fire and smoke.” It is not clear when the incident occurred, although the report surfaced on Thursday, informs Haaretz.

There are calls for peace like the one issued by Pope Francis who is asking all the catholics to pray for it. He met on Thursday with king Abdullah from Jordan and talked with him about the situation. During the meeting it was said that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option for putting an end to the conflict and the violence which every day claims many lives, including the helpless civilian population.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also thinks that “the situation should be resolved in a peaceful way through dialogue”.

But at this moment there is no will for dialogue at sight. Only movement of forces and weapons.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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Americas, Middle East, World and Politics

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