No country has yet been found for al-Assad to go to
Public opinion has the tendency to evaluate foreign policy developments from the humane dimension. On the one side there are friendly and brotherly countries, while on the other side are the enemies. We think the friendly countries will lend us a hand in difficult times; we think they will stand buy us and never let go.
Yet the world does not operate like that. No matter how much you have nurtured friendly relations, everyone is after their own interests.
I would like to give you the latest example.
Do you know that right now a place is being sought out for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his family? They have not yet left Damascus. It is not clear when they will leave it. But diplomatic processes have already started. There are talks and contacts. During bilateral talks, the following question is being asked: “Would you accept hosting them if the al-Assad family asked to come?”
There are preparations currently being made in international diplomatic corridors. I was told about it by a high-level diplomat familiar with the issue. I had already guessed this was the case, but I did not think it had started so early.
Now let’s look at the first impressions:
Russia, the superpower that is supporting al-Assad, is not willing to accept either him or his family. The Russians do not give reasons, but it seems that they do not want to carry a ticking bomb in their handbag.
When it comes to Iran, Tehran is divided in two. While one side wants to protect al-Assad until the end, the other side is not willing to open the doors. And Lebanon is also seen as a dangerous country.
These stances might change, but so far there are red lights against al-Assad. No matter how much you may be allies, interests outweigh this. This is how the cruel world functions.
Moscow and Tehran’s support won’t last long
There are two capitals that are most disturbed by developments in Syria. One is Moscow, the other is Tehran.
On the one hand, they don’t want to loose Syria, according to their discourse on the U.S.–Saudi Arabia-Qatar–Turkey front. But on the other hand there is not much they can do to reverse the direction of developments. Russia and Iran believe the front against al-Assad is a Sunni alliance and aims to counter with an anti–U.S., Shiite axis.
But there are questions as to what they can actually do.
It is impossible to go beyond giving al-Assad, ammunition, arms and financial help. It is not as if United States or Turkey are directly intervening in Syria. Neither Russia nor Iran can act against the Syrian opposition forces, their only expectation is for the Ba’ath regime to get the situation under control. But this does not appear to be easy, and in fact the civil war is spreading.
Moscow and Tehran will definitely continue their support in the coming days. But there is a limit and a deadline to that support. In a situation where there is chaos in Damascus and where Syria is regionally divided and more blood is being shed, foreign support will become dimmer. There are less and less options left in front of al-Assad.
He has to show a strong reaction to opposition forces. There has been a struggle in which 18,000 people have died. There will be many sharper measures yet, and that will increase the intensity of the civil war.
That is why the explosion in Damascus the other day was seen as the “beginning of the end.”
It is useful to repeat: Moscow and Tehran can not carry the al-Assad regime on their shoulders for a long time.
Let everyone do whatever they want during Ramadan
Holy Ramadan starts today, and we are entering a period where we need to be careful.
There will be those who fast and those who do not. There will be those who want to drink (alcohol) without bothering others.
No one should interfere with others. We need to respect those who are fasting and tolerate those who do not. We need to avoid uncivilized behavior such as harassing those who are eating and attacking those who are drinking.
“Neighborhood pressure” can make itself felt the most during these days. We definitely have to stand against this and prevent it. If our religion is one of tolerance, we need to prove it.
May the month of Ramadan bring happiness to all.