Double standards: Why fight ISIS in Iraq, not in Syria?

The West wholeheartedly rushed to rescue thousands of Yazidis in Northern Iraq. France rushed weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga. The UK opened it depots for urgent delivery of ammunition and weapon systems to help the Kurds of Iraq. The U.S. sent military advisors after several air strikes on ISIS positions were launched from the George W Bush aircraft carrier positioned in the Gulf.

Observers cannot but be astonished. The West has rushed to help Iraqi minorities, Yazidis and Christians, and has left thousands of Syrians to face the butchery of the Assad regime, ISIS, Alawites, Hezbollah, and all sectarian Iraqi and Iranian imported militias who claim to be defending minorities’ rights in Syria.

The death of one Iraqi citizen should be taken as serious as a Syrian citizen targeted by ISIS, al-Nusra Front, the armed opposition or the Assad regime and its allies.

In Syria, three full years have passed and neither the U.N. nor the international community managed to provide substantial help to Syrians displaced within Syria (those are said to be in excess of 6 million as per U.N. figures) or Syrian refugees in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey also a number estimated at 3 million plus.

The Syrian refugee crisis is by far the most serious the region and the world has witnessed for many decades, yet the stalled response by the international community is questionable if compared to the response seen in the last few days in Iraq.

Chasing ISIS

The Syrian opposition has been calling for many months the Friends of Syria Group to arm its brigade to bring down the Assad regime and stop the daily butchering and ethnic cleansing of Syrian civilians in various parts of the country. Fears that sophisticated weapons have reached the hands of extremists have prevented action, while Syrian regime aircraft kept pounding cities and villages outside the control of the regime with all kind of ammunition, and the list is long.

In Syria, three full years have passed and neither the U.N. nor the international community managed to provide substantial help to Syrians

Mohamed Chebarro

An internationally protected safe haven in Syria was proposed on humanitarian grounds many times to house Syrian civilian inside the Syrian border only to be vetoed by Russia and China. Yet the international community was very active in scrambling U.S. fighter jets to pound ISIS positions close to the Iraqi Kurdish province, and for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to start receiving huge weapons shipment.

Double standards it maybe, but the life of Iraqis is as important as the life of human being anywhere and specially that of Syrians. And if the fight against ISIS and it's sisters and brothers is to succeed, the fight needs to threaten ISIS positions and bases in Syria too.

The new Security Council resolution unanimously adopted under chapter seven should prepare the ground to chase ISIS and other similar organizations across the Middle East, Europe and other hotbeds of extremism all over the world.

It is realistic to expect the Russian warning that the new U.N. resolution should be limited in its scope, but fighting ISIS means giving the British police extra powers to deal with returning foreign fighters as much as dealing with recruitment center up and down the country... In the same way fighting ISIS should extend to Syrian provinces where ISIS is recruiting and grooming new fighters who originate from marginalized communities in London, Sydney, Cairo, and Riyadh.

Mohamed Chebarro is currently an Al Arabiya TV News program Editor. He is also an award winning journalist, roving war reporter and commentator. He covered most regional conflicts in the 90s for MBC news and later headed Al Arabiya’s bureau in Beirut and London.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.