Belfast Telegraph

Bombing Syria will be disaster

By Mohammed Samaana

Since the terror attacks on Paris Nato and Russia have been beating the war drums.

I'm not going to discuss why the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians by the regime, its allies and Daesh - Isis' acronym in Arabic: the other acronyms wrongly associate the group with Islam - required no action, while killing 130 westerners did. Instead, I will explain why bombing Syria is wrong and counter-productive.

The nations which want more bombing are not united. Russia and Iran - neither of whom took in Syrian refugees - want to protect the Assad dictatorship. For Russia, protecting Assad means protecting its military bases in Syria. That's why Russia is mainly targeting Assad's opponents, not Daesh. The Russian Orthodox Church called bombing a Muslim country "a holy war".

Iran needs the dictator, because he is from the same Shia sect. Iranian officials spoke about controlling four Arab capitals and of Baghdad becoming the capital of an Iranian empire, which explains Iran's support to Iraq and Syria's oppressive sectarian regimes.

Jurgen Todenhofer, a western journalist who interviewed Daesh terrorists, highlighted that suppressing the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria is why some support Daesh.

The US and its allies' interventions are the main reason behind the chaos in the region. Britain and France's 1916 Sykes-Picot partition and colonisation project sowed the seeds for the mayhem.

The US's arming and financing of fundamentalists, such as Osama Bin Laden, against the Soviets in Afghanistan led to the creation of al-Qaida, while the US's invasion of Iraq and installation of a sectarian regime led to the creation of Daesh.

Ordinary Muslims - the main victims of Daesh, who want to see it destroyed - will form the majority of the victims of another war. Russia has already massacred Syrian civilians.

The way forward is to target Daesh financially - especially with its oil (something opposed by Russia) - to stop discrimination against Iraq and Syria Sunnis and to support the Arab people's desire to create democratic and inclusive societies.

Obviously, this will be opposed by Russia, America, Iran, the Arab dictators, Israel - and Daesh.

Mohammed Samaana is a writer based in Belfast

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