Syria is a complicated case, much complicated to be addressed fully in one post. It is complicated because of the interference of so many regional and international forces. For some one who has been away from the news and daily developments in the region, getting the full grasp of the situation would present a challenge.
The chaos began with the wave of popular uprising what many call “Arab Spring” that swept across the entire Middle East against the authoritarian regimes and engulfed Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. While the regimes in other countries were successfully overthrown, Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad suppressed the protests with force which led to the chaos that Syria is today. Broadly speaking the battle is being fought between pro- Assad powers and Anti- Assad forces. Major forces backing Assad’s regime are Russia, China, and Iran all of whom have rival interests with USA. Forces that want the removal of Assad are Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and USA. Though these forces have not been in direct confrontation with each other, there have been instances when confusion led to direct assault on the rival group like Turkey’s downing of Russian fighter jet some years ago.
However, a major shift in the civil war is expected to come from the policy newly elected US President Trump chooses to follow. Who has been making policy statements that belie his actions in the region. On coming to power, Mr. Trump announced removing Assad was not Washington’s priority which may have lulled Assad into a state of some calmness resulting in chemical attack on civilians in the province of Idlib on 04-04-2017.
On 07-04-2017 Washington responded to this attack by launching 59 tomahawk cruise missiles targeting al-Shayrat military airfield in Homs in western Syria, according to NBC News citing officials.
The development came within hours of US President Donald Trump hinting at a possible military action against the country’s President Bashar al-Assad, following a chemical attack on Tuesday in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun blamed on the Syrian government. The missiles had reportedly hit aircraft and infrastructure including the runway.
“American aggression” had targeted a Syrian military base with “a number of missiles,” said Syrian state TV shortly after the US announced the airstrike. “One of our air bases in the central region was exposed at dawn today to a missile strike by the United States, leading to losses,” state TV reported, citing a Syrian military source.
On 07-04-17 Putin’s Responded to US air strike on Syrian airfield. Russian President Vladimir Putin said US missile strikes in Syria were in violation of international law and seriously hurt Moscow’s ties with Washington, Reuters reported on Friday.
President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia regarded the US military attack on a Syrian airfield as an act of “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a made-up pretext” in an attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.
Russia does not believe Syria is in possession of chemical weapons, the Reuters report said.
The inconsistent remarks from the US President and his top diplomats are adding to the confusion as to how this conflict will come to an end.
There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told CNN in an interview. Date: 09-04-2017
A day later to Ms Nikki Haley’s interview with CNN President Trump again said that removing Assad was not his priority.
Whether the region will be restored to peaceful and stable governments or will it escalate into a conflict between two great powers Russia and USA is a question that political observers around the world are speculating about.