Opinion | Editorials

Syria: neighbours have a sinister motive

There are many groups fighting in Syrian civil war who have no interest in nation’s long-term future

  • By Gulf News
  • Published: 20:00 August 19, 2013
  • Gulf News

The civil war in Syria is pulling the country apart and as it continues, it will get harder and harder to rebuild a unified Syrian nation. The deep hatreds and suspicions created by years of war and killings will be impossible to completely eradicate, but if there was ever a new government with widespread popular support it might be possible to forge a new sense of nationality and pride in the country. But this will be very hard with many powerful forces at work to take advantage of the chaos that is engulfing Syria, which seek long-term political gains from the civil war. Many groups seek tactical advantage in the war, hoping to build Jabhat Al Nusra, an extreme Sunni organisation that is working in coordination with Al Qaida in Iraq while fighting alongside the opposition and the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia fighting for the government, as forces supplied by the Iranian government.

In addition, the Kurds of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region have taken a hand in helping their fellow Kurds, with a shrewd eye on long-term political expansion. Over the past few weeks, thousands of Syrian Kurds have sought refuge in Kurdistan from the fighting in Syria, where they faced daily attack, while also trying to make a living in the chaos of a failing economy. The relative calm and prosperity of Kurdistan will be very appealing as they can find work to keep themselves going, while they wait out the long civil war in their homeland.

The Kurdish Regional Government’s President Masoud Barzani has already taken a keen interest in the Kurds of Syria, which he has referred to as West Kurdistan. A few months ago, he had issued a call for young men to come to Kurdistan to be trained in a militia that could return to Syria and fight to protect Kurdish interests.

As the Syrian civil war continues, all these regionally backed militias will be a serious danger to the future unity of the country.

Gulf News
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