MIDDLE EAST

Pyongyang cheers on Bashar al-Assad

Some recent news items have mentioned a 37-page UN confidential report, which has been leaked to the press. The report talks about violations of sanctions imposed on North Korea.

The report notes that two North Korean shipments were sent to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program and that they have been intercepted during the past six months.

The last thing Bashar al-Assad needed was to add Pyongyang’s dictator to his list of political affiliations. Despite all that, Stephane de Mistura, continues to host international delegates even after seven rounds of talks in Geneva and promises of more to come. This is in spite of the Russians, Turks and tours to Astana in Kazakhstan.

Stepping away from the Syrian Opposition’s inability to unify its control after the West had forced the “true” opposition to “engage” in Moscow’s platform – Kadri Jamil’s group, who’s a “nicer” opposition for Bashar and his mouthpiece Walid al-Moualem to digest.

Putting aside all the global attention on the Syrian issue, it is worth shedding light on some figures, which are the outcome of Western policies and the Russian-Iranian support for Bashar al-Assad.

Even if Bashar remains popular in the palace of the Zionists, he will not remain so in the conscience of the Syrian people

Mashari Althaydi

Ravages of war

Here are some figures that give us a sense of the scale of destruction caused in Syria. Only 43 percent of Syrian hospitals are in operation, while half of the Syrian doctors have fled the country.

Some 80,000 children in Syria suffer from polio, which was eradicated from the country in 1995. One out of every four schools is either damaged, destroyed or used for those displaced as a result the conflict.

Around 6.3 million people have been internally displaced while close to five million are refugees outside the country. The Syrian conflict has so far caused damages worth $275 billion.

These are only a handful of figures that reflect the Syrian tragedy. Who else can be held responsible for such an outcome but Bashar himself, followed by Iran and Russia. Then comes the weakness of Western policy and some Arabs’ collusion with Bashar.

The tragic turn of events have made Alon Ben-Meir, Professor at the Center for Global Affairs – NYU School of Professional Studies, describe them as the “Syria: A Testament To International Moral Bankruptcy.” “The US was the only country that could have spared this horror, under the Obama administration,” Ben-Meir says.

These figures do not challenge Ayatollah Khamenei’s conscience, who was quoted by Qasim Soleimani, his envoy for strife and murder, as saying that we are going to defend the dictators.

“Do we look to any ruler of the countries to which we have relations; is he a dictator or not? We cater to our interests,” the leader is reported to have replied.

Even if Bashar remains popular in the palace of the Zionists, he will not remain so in the conscience of the Syrian people. This is the conscience that will sooner or later produce another revolution ... with de Mistura’s permission.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 23 August 2017 KSA 14:32 - GMT 11:32
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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