Borzou Daragahi’s latest report for the FT about the Syrian opposition makes compelling reading.
“Under the shadow of Mr Assad’s fighter jets, shelling and helicopters, the self-described revolutionaries manage local affairs such as refuse collection or food distribution, house the many displaced by war, mete out justice and resolve potentially cataclysmic disputes between clans before they get out of hand.”
A peaceful, democratic and stable Syria would be in the interest of the overwhelming majority in the Middle East. For now, there are only a few governments and organizations like Hezbollah and the Iranian government who want Bashar Al Assad to stay.
That is not to say that the Iranian government’s support is eternal and guaranteed.
This came to light yesterday.
According to Al Monitor’s excellent Iran Pulse publication:
“When (IRGC commander) Jafari was asked whether Iran would support Syria militarily in the event of a military attack, given the security agreement between the two countries he replied: “this issue depends of the circumstances. I can now say with assurance in the event of a military attack against Syria, whether Iran will also support militarily is unclear, and it completely depends on the circumstances.”
The fall of Assad however does not necessarily mean that freedom and democracy are around the corner.
There is always the possibility that the rebels could go on to massacre the Alawites, the sect which the Assad family belongs to.
There is also the possibility that thousands could be summarily executed because they were suspected of working with the government, without any proper trial or credible evidence being used.
In fact this could be happening as we speak.
This shocking video (warning, disturbing scene) whose contents have not yet been verified could be a sign of things to come, if found to be genuine.
It apparently shows someone who is believed to be working with the Shabiha (pro-government militia) being thrown out of a window by members of the opposition.
The Assad regime must go and many in the Syrian opposition, in fact the majority most probably want a democratic government to replace him.
However we in the West must be careful about the Jihadi opposition forces who the Saudis could be supporting. In the long run, this could impact us all.
As the old saying goes qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent, “he that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”.
This has happened before, it could happen again.