By Tariq Alhomayed
Even Hezbollah and the Israeli Prime Minister could not ignore the Houla massacre in Syria, whose death toll stands at around 108, mostly women and children, and have condemned this. The question that must be asked here is: if Hezbollah and Israel have agreed to condemn the massacres in Syria, then what is left for the tyrant Bashar al-Assad and his brutal killing machine?
Hezbollah issued a statement expressing its “deep pain and shock at the terrible massacre in the Houla region of Homs”, condemning this massacre and those who carried it out, without making reference to any specific party! Along the lines of Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] issued a statement expressing his “disgust over the relentless killing of innocent civilians by al-Assad forces, which continued during the weekend in the village of Houla and included dozens of children”. So if even Hezbollah and the Israelis are united in condemnation of the massacres taking place in Syria, when will the world say that enough is enough with regards to al-Assad’s crimes and acknowledge that the time has come for his departure, even if this must take place via military intervention? The crimes of the tyrant of Damascus are endless, and we are now witnessing a new massacre in Hama, following the Houla massacre, which was condemned by the UN Security Council.
Therefore the danger of what is happening in Syria today, and this is something that the international community has failed to notice –particularly the US president – is that the situation has reached a phase where there is no room for rational thought, and this will only serve to encourage sectarianism and extremism, as well as all forms of violence. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that Hassan Nasrallah and Netanyahu were not able to remain silent, issuing condemnation of the Houla massacre. This is not fishing in murky waters, but clear evidence that both men are well aware of the gravity of the situation and the threat that is present in the days to come, whether to Syria, or the region as a whole. The brutality of the crimes committed by the tyrant of Damascus exceeds even the brutality of the crimes committed by the terrorist Al Qaeda organization; for the al-Assad regime is literally slaughtering women and children, and all of this points to the alarming presence of sectarianism and desire for revenge, which is what prompted both Hezbollah and Israel to condemn the Syrian massacres, particularly as the death toll in Syria has reached 13,000. So what is the international community, particularly the US, waiting for? Is the UN Security Council, or the international community, still counting on Russia?
I believe that this would be absurd, for the Syrian revolution has exceeded Moscow, and the time has come to take action from outside the UN Security Council. The time has come to establish a regional operational cell in cooperation with NATO, as well as willing regional countries, to engage with the project to topple al-Assad by force of arms, as well as support the call made by Mr. Burhan Ghalioun for the Syrian people to liberate themselves. This will not take place without the establishment of buffer zones inside Syrian territory along its borders, namely along the Turkish – Syrian border and the Syrian – Jordanian border, with NATO support, as well as Arab and western states that are willing to cooperate with this, in order to rescue Syria from al-Assad the tyrant.
Therefore the world must take action today, for now that all solutions and initiatives have been exhausted, what is the international community waiting for? What is the international community waiting for, if even Israel and Hezbollah are condemning the Houla massacre in Syria?
(This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on 29 May, 2012)