Death toll rises in suburban Syria

BY: Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
April 24, 2013

The macabre fighting between government troops and the rebels has now become one of the most unfortunate on-going phenomenon which has already caused deep scars on the peace loving humanity.

Once again President Bashar al-Assadís forces proceed ahead with a major offensive against rebels in Jdaidet Artouz and Jdaidet al-Fateh suburban districts- around 15 kms southwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus- killing more than a few hundred people besides many rebels in the past six days of macabre fighting, as reported yesterday (Monday). In fact, the government troops, as reported, were trying to encircle the contested town of al-Quasyr, so as to quell the rising nefarious activities by the rebels. Although the precise number of those killed in the latest fighting has not been ascertained so far, but the British- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the death toll might rise to as high as 250, mostly due to fierce and indiscriminate shelling. The fact stands further substantiated by the records of another activist group called Local Coordination Committee, which had estimated the casualties to even higher count at 483. It said that most of the victims were killed in Jdaidet Artouz.

The state run-news agency SANA had also acknowledged that the Syrian troops had "inflicted heavy losses" on the rebels. Justifying the strong retaliation by government troops, a government official in Damascus told the news agency Associated Press that the rebels were the real culprits behind the "massacre" in Jdaidet al-Fateh. Against this backdrop, the army had no option but to press on with its heavy offensives near the Lebanese border, a strategic region because it links Damascus with the Mediterranean coastal enclave that is the heartland of Mr. Assadís Alwai sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam having traditional rivalry with Syriaís Sunni populace.

Obviously, there looks no end to the on-going fierce fighting between government troops and the rebels which, in fact, poses serious and ominous portents to the peace and security of not only Syria and its people but also to the entire Middle East and West Asian region which has already suffered deep blows and deadly scars on its chest and continues to bear the brunt of vicious power politics over the regionís natural wealth- oil and gas, unleashed by the erstwhile super powers and major powers since long. Their narrow-vested interests have, in fact, converted one of the worldís most rich and precious region into a horrible battle-field, which must be stopped forthwith by restraining all external interventions with the bold initiative take by all the conscience seeking countries like Japan, Germany, France, China, Brazil, and also India-being the founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement- under the auspicious of the United Nations, particularly its General Assembly.

Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
Associate Professor, Political Science,
M. D. P. G. College, PRATAPGARH (UP),
Narsinghbhanpur, Naya Mal Godam Road,
Distt- PRATAPGARH (UP), Pin-230001,

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