Thursday, 25 April 2013

UN should authorise no fly zone over Syria and arm the rebels

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In March 2011, as Colonel Gaddafi was posed to slaughter civilians in Benghazi, I urged that the internal community intervene and together with a NATO enforced no fly zone, humanitarian aid and intelligence and military support for the rebels that a New International Brigade should be formed of freedom fighters from overseas. It is time again, as Syria is ripped apart by the fighting to say 'enough is enough' impose a no fly zone, arms democratic rebels and create a New International Brigade. 
With reports that possibly sarin has been used against civilians in Syria, another red line of brutality and war crimes has been crossed.
Bashar al-Assad (cropped).jpg
President Assad - a brutal tyrant
President Bashar Assad had the persona of a more modern, progressive leader in the early days and hopes were high that he could usher in democracy and greater freedom to the wonderful country of Syria. Instead he has submitted to the worst excesses and developed the ego of a tyrant.
The respected Human Rights Watch summarise the situations as: "Syria responded to months of peaceful protests with brutal force involving indiscriminate air and artillery assaults on residential areas and apparent targeting of civilians, and torture, which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity".
A protestor at a Trafalgar Square rally standing in solidarity with people across the Middle East and North Africa
Amnesty International have reported: "According to the UN, at least 70,000 people have died since pro-reform protesters took to the streets of Syria in February 2011. Many were shot by security forces while participating in peaceful protests or attending the funerals of others killed. This number continues to rise."
French Rafale could patrol the skies and protect civilians
The United Nations Security Council should impose a no fly zone and destroy the Syrian air defences. If the Syrian Air Force wishes to engage NATO forces then the full might of NATO should be used to completely degrade its capacity to control the skies. Those groups within the Syrian Opposition that actively support democracy should be armed with rifles, transport and heavy artillery. Training should be provided and military advisers made available to ensure that the Syrian Rebels have access to the professional training to uplift their capability to fight and win this war.
If Russia (and China) stubbornly refuse to support a new resolution authorising such support to the Syrian rebels then with great reluctance, as a last resort, I would support NATO or individual countries such as the UK and France taking direct action. Humanity cannot stand by and watch the slaughter continue in Syria as the great citadel of culture and history is ground in dust and rubble. Active intervention is required now.
With reports of foreign fighters entering Syria and supporting the Rebels, it would be better to organise a distinct unit professionally managed and controlled by those democrats. A New International Brigade dedicated to Syria would add a new capability to the ranks of those fighting for their freedom and reassure the West that small arms were not going to terrorist groups. 
New International Brigade could assist the Syrian Rebels
Make no mistake, the route to democracy and the ending of tyranny is never easy and there will be problems ahead but those fighting for freedom will win. Think about it. 100% certainty that Assad's reign of terror will end one day.

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