Reading the article by The Guardian titled as "UN accused of taking sides in Syrian conflict" makes wonder why it took so long for someone to comment about this matter. UN is acting like this for a long time but only now someone decided to speak against it.
It is more than clear that UN is downing its head to Assad Regime.
UN says its mission is to preserve world peace yet we dont see it having any active voice in the Syria conflict, UN didn't take any step to prevent the event, nor to change the course of it and now its not taking any action to help those affected by it.
It takes almost forever for UN to deliever aid in besiege areas in Syria and their excuse is that the Regime is not answering their requests... Since when and Intergovernamental Organization strong like UN, supported by pretty much the whole globe, needs any approval to deliever aid to those suffering and dying for hungry because of a government that kill their own civilians?
If our global peacekeeper organization is so weak it can't even impose themselves toward governments like the one in Syria, then it is useless and we dont need to have it anymore.
Despite all the dificulty delivering aid to Syria, with 75% of the requests of delivering aid in besiege area being denied in 2015, Syria government areas didn't stop receiving them though. It is estimated that 95% of the food sent to Syria, were delivered in government controled areas.
While it is too hard for UN to send trucks to cities like Daraya, they didn't seem to have any dificulty dropping aid in places like Deir ez Zour. Why didn't they drop aid in besiege areas too? Good questions. Maybe the fact that these areas dont support Bashar might have something to do with it.
It is not UN's business anyways, Their job is to keep the peace and in extreme events, try to make innocents affected by conflicts suffer the less possible, providing them support, food and medicine. Leaving asides governments and keep the impartiality.
In this Ramadan, keep those who need in your prayers,
Remember of the civilians who, against their will, abandoned the most valuable things they had, those who saw their houses being destroyed and families being killed in front of their eyes, remember of those who were tortured and those who are still laying in regime cells waiting for their fate.
Remember of the kids who, due to the war, were forced to leave their childhood behind to give place to the sadness and pain, those who put their toys aside to hold, for the rest of their lives, the trauma.
Remember of the mothers who, powerless, watch their husbands being tortured and kids being killed, those who carry in their back the weight of the suffer.
And the last but not least,
Remember of the mujahideen, who left the comfort of their homes and the company of their families, to the battlefield, to protect the honor of muslimeen and unite the Ummah.
Ramadan Mubarak Saeed to all my brothers and sisters in this Ummah, may this month bring us closer to our Lord and may He accept our efforts and good intentions.
Since the beginning of the of the Syria civil war in 2011, 326 medical facilities have being bombed and around 670 medical personnel have been killed. Despite the International Rules of War, which clear states that medical personnel, units and transports must be respected and protected in all circumstances, attacks against hospitals have become well spread by the Regime and its allies in Syria, leaving the status of collateral damage and assuming a position of strategy of war.
Even before the war, great part of the Syrian people already had difficulty with access to Health service. The inadequate usage of capacity, uneven distribute of human resources, overall inequity, lack of skilled staff and leadership and qualified nurses and allied health professionals conspired to turn improvements in the quality of the care into a challenge to the country.
With the crises, great part of the already small amount of well qualified Syrians, manage to escape the war, settling as refugees in nearby countries, among them, engineers, teachers, and health professionals. Due to the war and especially the airstrikes, vital infrastructure inside Syria has been compromised or destroyed, resulting in a lack of energy, food and water sources, sanitation service and shelter.
The Situation Inside Hospitals
"The most basic things are not available – anaesthetics, painkillers, medication for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. We have no anti-inflammatory injections, cough syrups or anti-diarrhoea medicine. We replaced medical plasters with paper. We have to use items many times without sterilization. We are not able to store blood – a suitable donor has to be found during an operation. When things do become available the prices are high and they are usually close to their expiry date and have lost their effectiveness by the time we get them.”- Hanan, nurse in a hospital in Homs.
Due to the lack of professionals and resources, the access to health care has become even more restricted and the lacks of maintenance of the medical equipments and shortages of drugs and medical supplies have deeply affected the quality of the service.
Stock of medication has already exhausted and with the drug production and distribution facilities inside Syria shutting down, the only way to bring supplies into the country is through the unofficial routes, coming from neighboring countries.
With the difficulty to find even basic medication, displaced families are not being able to get children vaccinated, resulting in many of them suffering from measles, meningitis and polio (once eradicated in 2014, it is again on the rise), diseases that can easily be prevented if the medication is available.
With the destruction of power plants, power cuts are frequent forcing hospitals to run on generator power, but obtaining fuel is difficult. In some cases, doctors are forced to operate without electricity.
Although many Syrians are willing to donate blood, due to the lack of power in the region, most hospitals are not equipped with refrigerators turning it impossible to keep a blood bag bank.
In consequence of the situation faced, the number of routine operations has been diminished and patients with chronic diseases were forced to interrupt their treatment to give room to more urgent cases as those with life-threatening injuries receive higher priority.
Despite the rules of International Law ensuring security of hospitals, the same is not noticed in practice, hospitals are being deliberately target since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. It is estimated that around 326 medical facilities have being bombed so far, mainly in rebel held areas.
Russia alone had already bombed 24 hospitals in the past eight months in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia and Daraa, including one run by Doctors Without Borders in Maarat al-Numan, Idlib. This week, once again a hospital was target by Russia in Idlib.
“The doctor who treats my enemy must be my enemy”
Far from a simple mistake, bombing hospitals had become a strategy of war since the Syrian government considers hospitals running in rebel held areas as legitimate military facilities under a counter-terrorism law but due to the lack of paper trail, it is just hard to produce any proof that Syrian and Russian governments are ordering their pilots to target hospitals.
If attacking hospitals and clinics was not enough, “double tapping” is also becoming a common strategy used by the Regime and its allies, which consist in bombing a hospital and bombing it for the second time after first responders have arrived on the scene to take care of people injured in the first attack.
Al Quds, hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in Aleppo, targeted in airstrikes
All these evidences don’t leave room for doubts whether these attacks are intentional or not. It is clear that they are trying to kill the maximum number of hospital workers and patients as possible.
Bombing hospitals and killing its personnel decrease the capability of the health service in areas held by the opposition, intimidating doctors and patients, leaving the population with a feeling of vulnerability and giving them a sense of insecurity under opposition protection, forcing them to flee the area.
Undiscriminating Attack Against Doctors
“Kill a doctor and you kill thousands”
Decades ago, humanitarian groups were viewed as impartial, enjoying a certain level of protection even in war zones, it is not the case anymore. The Syria conflict doesn’t represent a threat to civilians only but also to doctors and all hospital workers, with them being target repeatedly.
In April, Mohammed al-Kos the only remained doctor in the besieged city of Zabadani was killed by a sniper alongside a member of a rescue team. In the same month, al-Quds a hospital supported by Doctors Without Border in the city of Aleppo was also bombed to the ground, killing Dr. Mohammed Wassim Moaz one of the few pediatrician and the last qualified who continued to work in the city. Three days after the attack in al Quds hospital, Al-Marjah Primary Healthcare Center, a pediatric and gynaecological clinic was also attacked, killing two doctors.
Doctors also risk being labeled as “enemies of the regime” and arrested for treating the injured in areas not held by the regime, cases of doctors being imprisoned and tortured to death were reported since the beginning of the revolution.
Dr Abbas Khan for example, a British orthopaedic surgeon who traveled to Syria to treat civilians was arrested and killed in 2013 in an “unknown prison or place of detention” in Damascus without any legal justification.
Rebuilding is an Act of Resistance
In a desperate attempt to continue operating, hospitals had been set up in homes, farms, caves and even underground. Most hospitals being rebuilt in Syria is now fortified, bunkers practically, and part of its activities happens in the basements of the actual hospitals.
Despite the danger and risks, there is no other choice but to build the hospitals back, knowing that they will be probably hit a second time, or even a third one. As the rest of the World watches these international crimes against humanity from the sidelines, without any government support, the Syrian people are left to rebuild hospitals out of donations.
As long as the Regime bombs hospitals to the ground, Syrian people will continue to rebuild them as it is not only a humanitarian necessity but an act of Resistance, reminding the World of the nonviolent activism that gave voice to the Syrian Revolution in its beginning, and that will continue to exist as long as the Syrian people resist.
A lot of debates going on about the breakaway between Jabhat al Nusrah and al Qaeda, whether the group should indeed distance itself from their cental affiliate or not. West seems up to press Nusra to do so, yet the jihadist group doesn't seem willing to down their head to the West. The breakaway could bring consequenses and and in long terms small "advantages".
Strategically speaking the breakaway of Nusra would bring international legitimacy and a sort kind of immunity to the group, taking them out of the terrorist list and joining the ceasefire list, and even getting invitation to the Peace Talks.
It is clear the will of US and other countries in this breakaway, since al Nusra is one of the biggest group fighting in Syria at the moment, focusing in local jihad and capable of fighting and ovethrowning the assadist regime. US first strategy of backing more moderate fighters (FSA linked fighters) already failed and part of this failury was thanks to Nusra who manage to seize the group. So in US mind, nothing more logical than supporting the group that was strong enough to capture their own trained soldiers.
On the other hand, islamically speaking, breaking away with AQ could change part of Jabhat al Nusra's aqeedah and manhaj, turning them into a more moderate group, engaging in irjah (murji'ah action), causing the loss of their jihadi legitimacy.
AQ is a strong and influencial organization in the jihadist world and part of this is due to the fact that alongside Taliban, AQ is the oldest jihadist group in the jihad of nowadays. They have far more knowledge and experience in jihad (war and islam) they already have a solid aqeedah and a good amount of scholars. All this gives legitimacy to the small groups overseas giving bayah to them, most of these groups, including al Nusra, are relatively new groups that need a strong base to keep them together and give them a direction.
The other possibility though is that this breakaway could affect the group in the opposite way, turning them into a more radical faction like Jund al Aqsa, or Turkistan Islamic Party, groups that dont give ba'yah (pleadge alligancy) to AQ nor IS but still bear a even more radical ideology than JN. The same happened with the Islamic State when they broke their bayah with al Qaeda creating an independent group that ended up being more radical than their old school model.
It should be bear in mind that breaking away with al Qaeda doesnt necessary means breaking away with their Salafi ideology. It is hard to predict what path JN would choose without AQ but in both cases, this breakaway could bring benefit but also disunit between JN fighters and split their ranks.
Ahrar al Sham is one of the few jihadist groups in history to take aid from non muslims or secular countries, this happens for the simple fact that accordiangly to the understanding of great part of Islamic scholars, this act goes against the Islamic Law.
As already mentioned by AS itself, even though both groups are Salafists/Jihadists groups, they dont share the same projects. Due to circumstances that weakened Ahrar in the past, in 2014 the group started to show the first signs of moderation.
Although they share a lot of similarities, different than Ahrar al Sham, Jabhat al Nusra has a far more radical Aqeedah that doesnt approve this kind of support, and they are not up to be signing any agreement, like this of the breakaway, for the sake of pleasing the West only.
Al Qaeda has long planned to declare an Islamic State. With the situation in Syria after the Arab Spring, and all the chaotic enviroment turned Syria into the perfect incubator for the new generation of jihadi, AQ saw an opportunity in that. JN has this goal of establishing an Islamic State in Syria. As there can only have one legit Islamic State at the time, if these two groups were divided, AQ wouldn't be able to declare a State if Nusra did and vice versa.
As Zawahiri said in his last audio message: We have repeated over and over than the Muslims of Sham – and at the heart of them the brave Mujahidin – if they formed their Muslim state and chose their Imam, then whoever they decide to choose is their choice. This shows there is no need for JN to leave AQ in order to establish their Islamic State and instead of opposing to this, AQ would actually join them(give bayah).
As mentioned by Zawahiri: We, by the grace of Allah, are not striving for authority, rather we are striving for the rule of the Sharia. We do not wish to rule over the Muslims, rather, we want to be ruled as Muslims by Islam. Jihad is about unification of the muslim people and groups and not about spliting ranks and falling apart, together they are more powerful than against each other.
US seem to be up to try supporting radical groups again, despite the bad experience they had in Afghanistan with the Taliban. But they must bear in mind their past experience, Ahrar al Sham's aqeedah doesnt represent the pattern of all jihadist groups, not all of them are willing to take aid from a western country nor down their heads to western policies and agenda.
Seems like Nusra is more interested in fighting against the Regime with all their ways than getting out of the West's terrorist list. Perhaps because they don't care about titles, perhaps because they don't care about the western projects.
Although some people agree with this breakaway, it is not a simple issue to solve, and would bring alot of consequences to the group. Despite all the pressure JN has being suffering regarding this matter, It is something that we wont probably see any time soon.