Monday, 23 July 2012 19:09
After 18 months of fighting the al-Assad regime, the end game, by Allah’s grace in now in sight. The whole Ummah has watched with astonishment at not just the brutality of al-Assad but the mixed messages from the west, which played a key role in the slaughter, by giving al-Assad ample time to end the uprising.
When the uprising initially began in early 2011, both Britain and France immediately called for intervention whilst the US called for giving al-Assad time, as he was a reformer. As pictures beamed around the world of al-Assad’s slaughter, the US changed tact and began calling for his removal, whilst not actually doing anything. When this position became untenable, as the massacres continued, the US faced a dilemma, the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Local Coordination Committee (LCC) failed to coalesce into a unified movement. The US hoped to possibly replace al-Assad with a new breed of loyalists, however undermined by internal squabbling and power struggles and having little credibility in the eyes of the people the US turned towards the UN to buy itself time.
Various proposals were put forward with regards to Syria from sanctions to UN observer missions and a resolution condemning the Syrian leadership with vague prospects of intervention. This action i.e. the involvement of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the resolution to the Syrian crisis, effectively placed the solution to the Syrian crisis in the hands of the superpowers, who themselves were all competing with each other.
The Kofi Annan plan, allowed the regime time and space to commit arguably its worst atrocities. The UN observers were as impotent as the earlier Arab league observer mission was at times complicit with the regime. The task of the observers was to inform the international community of unacceptable actions of those they had under observation. The international community was fully aware of the violence. The issue in Syria was not that the world was unaware of the violence, but that it was not willing to take steps to end it
In June 2012 a flurry of statements by US officials such as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of staff, US Defense Secretary, the Secretary of State and the President himself began to ratchet up calls for military intervention. This after calling for everything short of intervention since the uprising began. This was due to the progress the Ummah in Syria made against al-Assad. The Assad regime failed in quelling the uprisings in Homs, Hama, Idlib and the stand-off has reached Aleppo as well as districts of Damascus – the seat of the regime. This worried the US as well as the al-Assad regime who then resorted to massacres such as Qubair and Houla as the people of Syria were not going to allow foreign powers to replace Assad with another puppet.
The magnitude of al Assad’s problems became clear July 6 2012 when the influential Tlass clan publicly broke ties with the al-Assads. This signaled the unraveling of the Sunni patronage networks that have helped sustain the minority Alawite-dominated regime for more than four decades. The next blow came July 18 2012 with a bombing at the National Security headquarters in Damascus eliminated several of the regime’s top security bosses.
The Syrian military faced a countrywide insurgency, with rebel pockets forming in most of the key governorates. Given al-Assad’s finite resources, the regime prioritized its operations. Whilst the military has not ceded any governorate to the opposition and continues to go on offensives aimed at destroying rebel pockets in critical areas. Large swaths of the countryside have effectively been ceded to the rebels as the government focuses on amassing enough personnel and firepower to maintain solid control over critical cities and supply lines, this is now cracking.
With the end game in Syria in sight there are a whole host of issues the Muslims of Syria will need to contend with in order to ensure their uprising is not hijacked by those with their own agendas. With this in mind we present the key strategic issues which the Ummah of Syria will need to contend with.
Internal cohesion was maintained in the country by successive rulers through the secret service permeating every facet of society. Whilst much has been made of civil war and sectarianism, non-Muslims make up less than 25% of the country’s population. Unifying Syria into a cohesive society is one of the biggest challenges the new leadership will face, especially as foreign powers have designs on the nation. In overcoming these challenges we make the following recommendations:
- The adoption of a new constitution – A constitution should be adopted that enshrines the relationship between state and society and defines the organs of state and how accountability can take place. The ummah of Syria need to change the basis the nation from a vague concept of Arab nationalism and al-Assad to Islam. This is because Islam is indigenous to the nation and will provide it with a coherent system to organize state and society.
- As the basis of Islam is the Qur’an and Sunnah a new constitution that outlines the detailed Islamic position on the economy, social system, accountability and judiciary should be drawn up, made public so every citizen can see the laws it will be judged by. This will create a coherent society and create unity amongst the populace.
- The constitution should clearly state the obligation of political parties and the establishment of the Majlis of the Ummah, which will have the power to impose certain restriction on the ruler. This mechanism will allow for accountability to take place in an institutionalized manner. This will allow for a close relationship between the ruler and ruled and create a society which cannot be penetrated from the outside as changes can be brought and discrepancies can be raised directly through this domestic institution rather than turning to outsiders.
- The constitution should also clearly outline the rights non–Muslim citizens will enjoy. This will coalesce the Christian minority and ensure they do not become objects of foreign agendas.
No nation is independent unless it controls its own security. Sovereignty does not exist unless a nation can secure its borders and is self-sufficient in this. Whilst much has been made of Syria’s chemical weapons, which is reality is a pretext of possible foreign intervention, the Ummah of Syria will need to take over the country and bring the countries heavy industry and weapons arsenal under its control. This will be essential in the case of military intervention by foreign powers and also for the wider Islamic aim of reunification with the wider Muslim world. In overcoming these challenges we make the following recommendations:
- Once al-Assad is removed from power the first job of Syria’s new leadership will be to consolidate the nation’s firepower, so its borders can be secured and in order to deter those with designs on the nation. Currently the nation has 215,000 soldiers with a similar number in the reserves. Its includes eight armored divisions and three mechanized divisions, these will need to be brought under the new leaderships authority, there equipment includes 4,700 tanks, 4,500 armored personnel carriers, 850 surface-to-air missiles, and 4,000 anti-aircraft guns. This includes the air force’s 611 combat planes.
- Syria possesses 130 surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries. These have had significant resources devoted to them in terms of maintenance and upgrade and would complicate any potential foreign intervention. These batteries will need to be secured after the overthrow of al-Assad.
- The security services in the Arab world are notorious for their brutal methods of torture, often being the only line of defense for the rulers of the region. Syria’s Military Intelligence Directorate – Makhabarat, plays a major role in the region and not just in Syria. It has been the architect in creating various groups who acted as non-state actors in the region. During Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, the Syrian secret service exercised political authority in the country. The role of the secret service should be changed to protecting the people from foreign interference, rather than internal policing. They should also be paid a wage commensurate to this, to weed out corruption.
Syria was an artificial creation by the deal made by the French and British in the Sykes-Picot agreement in 1918. Whilst European influence was replaced by the US after WW2, the West ensured the minority demographic ruled over the majority, who would always need foreign help to remain in power. Successive rulers remained loyal to the West protecting their interests in the region, which ensured military hardware kept flowing into the country. Stratfor’s outlined its view on the post Assad scenario: “Foreign diplomacy surrounding the conflict, rather than the rebels fighting within Syria, will determine what the endgame looks like. Stratfor expects a scramble among the foreign stakeholders in Syria to protect their interests and emerge from the growing chaos with some degree of leverage.” In order to deal with foreign interference the following recommendations should be pursued:
- Removing US interference will be central to the future of the Muslim world as well as Syria. To achieve this US tools need to be eliminated, which it has used in the region. Since the US came to the Muslim lands it has used agent rulers, economic aid, money, funding and military sales as key tools in keeping influence in the region. Each of these will need to be deconstructed and removed.
- Former members of the al-Assad regime need to put on trial for the crimes they have committed. Justice needs to be brought to the millions who suffered at their hands. These trials should be completely public. Similarly members of the Syrian National Council (SNC) should be not be permitted to return to the country as they are close to the West and their loyalty to new Syria cannot be guaranteed.
- Nuclear weapons still today remain the ultimate weapon for war and deterrence. Syria will need to deter those who have designs on the Muslim lands. Whilst Islam has in origin forbidden the use of nuclear weapons as they cause widespread destruction whereas the Islamic foreign policy is to revive humanity with Islam not to exterminate it. Islam however permitted the Islamic state to do with the enemy similar to what it does to them. On this basis Syria’s nuclear program should be revived for deterrence purposes.
- The rogue status label has been developed in the capitals of the West to justify interference in the Muslim lands and to subvert any call for the return of Islam. Dealing with this requires Syria’s new leadership to go on the offensive and expose this lie by exposing the plots, plans and actions of the West. The West has engaged in many heinous crimes that no state in the world has exposed or taken advantage of. The US lied about WMD’s in Iraq in order to gain the countries coveted black gold. Its greed showed no limits when it was exposed in the Abu Gharib scandal. The Wests coz y relationship with the likes of Ben Ali, Gaddafi and Mubarak has never been used by another state to embarrass the West.
- The Ummah’s best defense is reunifying with the Muslim world. By annexing and expanding very quickly, any foreign aggressor will be dealing with a much larger area. As Afghanistan and Iraq has shown, the longer the supply lines have to travel the weaker the front lines. It should also be borne in mind that the US makes use of a number of military bases that have been provided to them by the Muslims’ rulers, cutting such supply lines will severely hinder US capabilities.
The beginning of the end has started in Syria and Russia, Britain, France and the US are all attempting to arrange the end game in Syria with something that suits their interests. The West has been unable to create a new breed of loyalists who will serve their agenda and have been caught short as the ummah took her destiny into her own hands. With the call for Jihad coming from the mujahideen, and with many in Syria openly calling for Khilafah inshAllah the game is about to end for the West.