Syrian conflict

The war in Syria is not over

Policymakers and media have recently taken to announcing the end of the war in Syria, concluding that the refugees could now begin to return home. Syrian author Tarek Azizeh, however, is convinced that as long as Assad controls the country, there will be no peace

The international community has for its part been discussing for some time the urgency of creating stability in Syria. Political decision-makers keep repeating this exhortation like a mantra – no matter whether they are allies of Assad or ostensibly side with the Syrian people and their revolution.

And no wonder, because stability has always been a magic word in the strategic arsenal of governments and in particular authoritarian regimes. The argument that stability must be achieved, maintained, or restored frequently serves as a pretext, justifying violence and massacres, or for asserting national and international interests at the expense of the people.

Under the mantle of ensuring stability, dirty deals are done and alliances formed with the worst tyrants and criminals. The posturing changes with the given situation and the cards are reshuffled. Standing on one's principles no longer seems to matter once it has been deemed acceptable to turn an enemy into a friend and to praise the executioner as a "guarantor of security and peace". Naturally all for the sake of so-called stability!

Numerous examples can be cited. Day after day, the official decision-makers stress anew how important it is that stability is returning to more and more areas of Syria. This will allegedly drive forward the "political process", encourage refugees to return home and facilitate the country's reconstruction.

Deals at the expense of the Syrian population

Meanwhile, official and unofficial deals are being made in the background between the states involved, at the expense of the country and its people. And Assad, the cause of all their suffering, is able to boast of his victories.

Whether as a political justification strategy or empty phrases batted about in the media, the attempt to present one's own attitude in a better light always implicitly amounts to admitting that the Butcher of Damascus has won the war against his own people, even going so far as to acknowledge his victory.

Syrian soldier walks past portraits of Putin and Assad in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus (photo: Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)
Shoulder-to-shoulder with Putin and Khamenei: Assad's "war on terror" has made it easier for the Syrian dictator to defeat the opposition and sell his struggle to the international community as a plan to restore stability

Indeed, these voices always grow louder whenever Assad's troops, with the aid of Russia and Iran, regain control of areas that were lost years ago. This is exactly what they mean by stability, advocating it as a solution to the chaos that has prevailed for so long due to the never-ending battles in most of these areas.

All the while, under the cloak of the "war on terror", Assad has had an easier time crushing the opposition and selling his fight to the international community as a plan to restore stability.

Jihadists against Syrian revolutionaries

Not to mention the various jihadist groups that have fought even harder against the Syrian Revolution than Assad's regime itself. To a great extent, they were the ones who made "stability" seem so desirable under the circumstances.

The way in which they fought and what they propagated summoned visions of chaos and menace that were so horrific that many decided they preferred the "stability" offered by the hellish regime.

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