シリア混迷 周辺諸国の不安定化も心配だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 24, 2012)
Syria’s civil war could destabilize neighboring countries
シリア混迷 周辺諸国の不安定化も心配だ(8月23日付・読売社説)

With Syria’s civil war deepening, there appears to be little chance for a ceasefire in the conflict. There are concerns the civil war could even spill over into neighboring countries.

Journalist Mika Yamamoto was shot dead earlier this week in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo while covering the conflict.

Yamamoto’s death highlighted the reality that urban districts, home to ordinary Syrians, have become battlefields between government forces and rebels. The United Nations estimates more than 18,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who served as the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy, failed to broker a ceasefire and members of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria have left the country.

Former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi has been named as Annan’s replacement. However, it is unlikely he will be able to fulfill his role, considering that the U.N. Security Council has been hamstrung as the United States and other Western countries are at odds with Russia and China over possible solutions.

With no end in sight in the country’s civil war, it is inevitable the bloodshed will continue to worsen.


Sectarian conflicts emerging

Rebels have expanded their hold over more areas of Syria, while government forces have been trying to maintain control of major cities by mobilizing all of their overwhelming forces.

However, more and more officials in President Bashar Assad’s inner circle have been defecting, including the prime minister who fled the country earlier this month.

Despite these developments, Syrian forces still stand by Assad mainly because members of the Alawite community–an offshoot of Shiite Islam that serves as a power base for the president–hold key military positions.

The Alawites, which are a minority in Syria, have been ruling the Sunni majority population and the civil war has increasingly taken on shades of sectarian violence.


Refugees becoming a burden

Worrisome is the ever growing possibility that Syria’s deepening turmoil could destabilize the entire Middle East.

Earlier this week, several people were killed in neighboring Lebanon as Alawite and Sunni militia exchanged gunfire. The fighting shadowed the pattern of Syria’s civil war.

Turkey, to the north of Syria, has been watchful to see how Kurds in the country react to the civil war, as it could reignite the Kurdish independent movement in Turkey.

The civil war has created more than 170,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations. Accommodating them has placed a great burden on neighboring countries.

Syria’s neighbors face their own possible conflicts. The situation could further deteriorate if Syria distributes the chemical weapons it is believed to possess to terrorist groups and other organizations.

Russia bears a heavy responsibility as it has long supported the Assad regime. It should work together with the United States and other Western countries to put strong pressure on Syria for an immediate ceasefire.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2012)
(2012年8月23日01時45分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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