This is the result of bombs and confrontation with not a little interference from the 'super powers'. Innocent people suffer indescribably.(1) Is it any wonder that Europe is now having to cope with the biggest migration by desperate refugees from war ever known?(2) Some have argued that from the beginning this was intentional policy.(3)
An 'Arab Spring' in 2011, quickly developed into a brutal and bloody civil war. Quick UN-led intervention might have averted the chaos, destruction and mounting death toll that followed. However we were told that this was an impractical proposition. The cynical amongst us may take the view that self-destruction was the preferred option by America and the West. How could it be other after the experience of Iraq (not to mention Egypt and Libya!)?(4)
A sectarian civil war between Shia Alawites, backed by Iran and Russia, versus Sunni rebels, backed covertly by the Gulf States, Israel and the West, did nothing to advance freedom or peace. In fact the West's position was deeply disingenuous, in that the main opposition force created to fight Assad's regime, the so-called 'ISIS', was knowingly supported, funded and trained by the West, yet at the same time represented as it's principal enemy, both home and abroad.(5)
Europe has suffered directly from its inflammatory meddling in Syria, as it has in the other Middle East countries referred to. Mass migration is destabilising. The threat of terrorism, much of it fabricated, has been used to undermine liberal democracy. The Paris attacks have resulted in a continued state of emergency - effectively Marshall Law - and existential fear and infringements of civil liberties throughout Europe.(6) On whom will the cost of rebuilding Syria fall, or is the plan to leave it in ruins?(7)
It is hard to conclude other than that all this was not part of a wicked long-term strategy by an American/Israeli/European/Gulf States coalition. Indeed the planning documents have been widely leaked and alluded to.(8)(9) Now paradoxically the agreement that was required between Russia and America at the beginning of the conflict, resulting in a fragile cessation of bombing at least, has been achieved after five months of Russian involvement.(10)
Just today (15.3.2016 - 'Beware the Ides of March!) it was announced that Putin has pulled back his military aircraft from the region, ostensibly because the "objectives of the mission have been achieved".(11) However it would be naive to think this was even a partial explanation. Much more likely was a 'quid quo pro' understanding with the United States. What that is, waits to be revealed but it would be surprising if it did not involve assurances regarding Russia's continuing influence in the area and in the Ukraine, within the general context of trade and bi-lateral relations.
It is just a tragic commentary on international politics, that agreement could not have been reached by scheming power brokers, without devastating the area and bringing so much misery and suffering to the population. People matter little in strategic decision making. No one comes out of this mess with honour or glory, not excluding Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron - a view exceptionally and publically expressed by no less a person than the President of the United States - not without a big dollop of hypocrisy, I would suggest.(12)
My name is Tony. I’m writing because I want you to get the real story, to know what President Assad’s regime is really doing to the people of Syria.
When the Syrian uprising began five years ago, it was simply a group of people who had hope for the future. They didn’t want a war.
But that’s exactly what the Syrian government gave them. A war that targets families, hospitals and schools.
Take a 360° tour of Syria – a place where people live in fear of the sky
I work for Lamba Media Production – a group of Syrian media activists, photographers, actors and producers. We risk our lives every day to shed light on what’s happening in Syria and to document the atrocities being carried out on the Syrian people.
We’re working with Amnesty to gather powerful 360° photos of the devastation caused by barrel bombs – makeshift weapons, filled with scrap metal, dropped on us from above by the Syrian army.
See the evidence and share it – help spread this far and wide
Everyone here is young and Syrian. Nearly all of us have a parent, a sibling, a cousin, dear friends or colleagues who have died in this devastating war. We have all lost a city we call home.
We are all grieving but instead of choosing to pick up weapons, we choose to pick up cameras to tell our stories to the people of the world in the hope that they will do something.
Why do we risk our lives? We believe that telling stories can change things. We believe that eventually this war will end and people will talk – this will be the solution to our problems.
Before we began, there was only the regime’s media, only their side of the story. We want to provide the Syrian people – and the rest of the world – with the right information so they can think objectively and make up their own minds.
Look at our work and share it with your friends and family
Together with Amnesty, our footage will help to form a body of evidence of the war crimes and human rights abuses in Syria. They bring us one small step closer to holding the perpetrators of these atrocities to account.
Tony al Taieb
CEO, Lamba Media Production