Sunday 11th February
Can someone tell me, please, just who is not involved in the fighting in Syria? It is the most unholy mess imaginable, and it has been going on for almost eight years already.
It started with rebel groups, supported and equipped by a crazy coalition of Saudi Arabia, America and Israel – who of course all deny any involvement. The Saudi’s are really fighting iran, who they suspect of having influence over Bashhar Assad, the pretty undemocratic leader of Syria who took over from his father. The Assads are from the Baath party which is actually quite a Socialist party. Before the war started Syria, along with Iraq had Universities and Free Schools and hospitals, most people, despite having few Political freedoms had a decent life. There is also a Religious element (when isn’t there?) as Syria and Iran are Sunni, and Saudi Arabia is Shi’ite. America just love to destabilise this region…oh and Syria also has oil.
Anyway, the rebels were quite successful to begin with and seized quite a lot of cities and territory in Syria. But, one (if not quite a few) of the disparate rebel groups were Religious nutters, including ISIS or Daesh (or whatever name they now use). Supported by America, this group started to gain ascendancy in both Syria and Iraq, and at one time were actually threatening Baghdad itself. Panic in the West, who then practically declared war on this group. A bombing campaign started with France and Britain involved too – though thanks to Milliband we stopped short of committing troops on the ground. Instead we helped the Kurds, who were fighting anyway for their own homeland in both Northern Iraq and Syria. The Kurds have been the most successful of all the forces fighting in both Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Russians, allies of Syria waded in with bombing missions of their own, targeting not only ISIS but many of the rebel groups. The tide started to turn and ISIS is practically wiped out and the rebel groups are being beaten back too. The Kurds are hanging onto a large area in Syria too.
Now enter Turkey, who have always had a problem in the East of their country, as the Kurds are also fighting for a homeland in Eastern Turkey. Turkey is now bombing the Kurds in Syria.
Not to be left out, Israel is getting involved (maybe always was) and a plane of theirs, on a bombing mission – supposedly to target Iranians in Syria (Oh, I forgot to mention that they are also fighting alongside Assad’s forces) has been shot down. Who knows how this will ever end, or if it will ever end. But so far France, America, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel and Britain have been fighting or bombing people in that poor country. And what no-one mentions is that each and every bombing raid kills people, almost all of them innocent civilians…