What led to the Devastating Syrian War in 2011?

Source: property of Ahmad Khaddour

There are various causes and factors that led to the outbreak of the devastating war in Syria, including direct and indirect economic and social causes.

Israel had withdrawn from south Lebanon (except the Shebaa Farms) on May 25, 2000.  This withdrawal came after a long period of battles and operations conducted by Hezbollah against Israeli's military sites in southern Lebanon. This tactic was political and military supported by Syria (including missile supplies).  This Syrian support offered to the resistance harmed Israel and caused it pain. Even so, remaining parts of the rockets falling on Israeli settlements showed that some of the missiles were Syrian-made. The outcome of this war was that Syria imposed a new balance in the region, and this is one of the most important reasons that led to the war in Syria, whose goal is to destroy the Syrian army and Syrian leadership power.

When American troops entered Iraq in March 2003 in order to tighten American control on the unipolar world, Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, came to Damascus. While the United States felt passionately the taste of victory in Iraq, the United States asked President Bashar al-Assad to abandon support for Hezbollah and cut the relationship with Iran, Assad rejected the US proposals, and the "Syrian regime" started to support the Iraqi "Sunni" and "Shiite"  resistance against the US army, and began to fatigue the US "imperial" military army in Iraq, until America withdrew from Iraq and the last US soldier left Iraq on December 18, 2011.  This was one of the causes of the international outrage against the Syrian State.

Syria has embraced various Palestinian factions which raised the slogan of resistance against Israel, including Hamas, which today publicly announces its hostility to the"Syrian Regime,” i.e., the Syria that had delayed the opening of the Golan front due to the difficult conditions that allowed Israeli and American military superiority after the fall of the Soviet Union, but maintained a "balance of fear" with Israel. Syria  did not sign any treaties with Israel, and continued providing support to Arab resistance movements against Israel.

Syria is considered to be one of the most important geopolitical and economic centers for the major parties of the international equation. The position of Syria on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean makes it a coastal gateway for the Asian continent, and linking the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, it is thus located at the intersection of crossing lines and trade between continents.  America and some Western countries want to have power over Syria to extend pipelines from the Persian Gulf to Europe via Syria to break Europe's dependency on Russian gas as well as to make the Syrian land and its harbors a passage for the import and export of goods to the Arab Gulf states.

How did the war in Syria begin?

After it was confirmed by Western powers that it is impossible to remove the "Syrian Regime" by military action as a result of the "fear balance" achieved against Israel and the fear of mass destruction in the region, these powers decided to break down and break up the system from inside, and began to sow their agents in the heart of the Syrian state. Their mission was to sabotage the reputation of the Syrian leadership by spreading corruption and throwing a wrench in the joints of the state and government institutions. This was pursued in two phases: first, to stop the wave of modernization and development which Assad tried to do after 2000, dismantle its goals and sabotage the project to prevent Syria from further development which could increase its immunity.

The second phase began immediately after the 2006 July war when Hezbollah defeated Israel.  This stage was represented by the inserted agents who occupied high positions in the body of the Syrian government  and performed all possible atrocities to deconstruct the structure of the Syrian state and rupture its relationship with the people.

The second phase was aimed at inducing necrosis into the body of the Syrian state and society, especially in areas where it was planned to instigate crisis. Government departments were turned to fight against citizens in their daily needs and services (like the cost of a water meter in Homs had reached US $6,000, and permission to build a room in a poor area needed a large bribe, while other ill treatments of citizens tended to inflame and steer public opinion against the leadership). The plan began to succeed as popular discontent began to spread and crowds of Islamist fundamental preachers, financed by foreign parties, waited for the "zero hour” to guide young people to the fields and squares.

Undoubtedly, those agents who spread corruption planned to "split" from the state, to became leaders of the Syrian opposition, and turn to disclose to the Syrian people in ethics and in the "regime's" errors that they were the ones who planned and started this project. This corruption was not an ordinary one aimed at theft, since there were others before those agents, who were working to achieve personal advantages from the state institutions, but they were also working on the development of institutions or to facilitate services to some extent. But agents in the latest period were not even interested in achieving interests as much as creating destruction and sabotage in state departments to damage the relationship between the people and the leadership through an affront to the dignity of citizens.

The so-called "Arab Spring" came.  The "zero hour" was announced to start war in Syria. The media channels associated with the West began fueling people in Syria to protest against the state and destroy public property. At the early stage, some sort of infantrymen adopt the task of inciting people to demonstrate. They were from radical Islamic fundamental groups in Syria whose proportion was about 8% of the Syrian people.  This section of the population was influenced by the lie of sectarian incitement played by the war makers on Syria, the media.  Here was the first spark of the war in Syria.

Some of those affected by corruption whom I mentioned earlier and who demanded administrative and economic reforms were among the demonstrators, as they believed that these demonstrations were aimed at "freedom and dignity.” But they soon discovered the game and left when guns started to appear and be aimed at the police.

Today, any youth from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Egypt, or the Gulf  can move easily from his country to get into the ranks of "ISIS" or "Al Nusra Front " in Syria to fight against the Syrian army. International financiers are ready to pay their way through airports, borders, and for weapons. This is in addition to the thousands of “clergymen” and hundreds of satellite TV stations in these countries that plant in youths’ minds the idea of the need to fight the Syrian army “in order to ascend to heaven.”

Indeed there are now thousands and thousands of Islamist fighters  from various countries around the world who are fighting in Syria and get good  monthly wages in addition to the tens of thousands "of Syrian fighters," who are also paid and who took up arms against the Syrian army.

All of this is empowered by the diplomatic and international media choir working to portray these militant extremists and fighters as " peaceful civilians” and the fight against these Islamist militants fighters by the Syrian army and Russia as "murder". In fact, the global media and international declarations merely manipulated simple minds, especially in the Syrian case.

Western statements disrupted the facts and moulded public opinion with such reports as “only a few days are left for al-Assad” and “all options are on the table” and others that are nothing more than unrealistic, agitating words employed for the sake of confusion and psychological warfare.

This myriad of local and foreign fighters that penetrated the civilian population in cities and neighborhoods used their positions in these neighborhoods to attack the Syrian army. In such cases, the army's response to these attacks would not be with flowers. However, when the army responded, it opened the way for civilians to get out before every battle.

The  natural result of these battles was mass destruction.  Feelings of  most civilians were with the Syrian army facing these militias. Some people said:”Oh, God , grant victory to the army against terrorists even if  my house is destroyed".

We can identify this situation as "the war in Syria" or "the war against Syria” because this war has been carried out by all the countries that have opened their airports and provided border crossings to fighters to march on this secret road to Syria. Nevertheless, all these countries have closed their embassies in Syria even bearing in mind that the first affected by this closure are those for whom these nations are  demanding “freedom.”

All countries which cut ties with the Syrian state, and all countries which funded and allowed their media to broadcast poisoned incitement to affect the minds of ordinary people who did not realize that what was going on and how they are sabotaging their history, their land - these countries did such for the sake of extracting geopolitical and economic benefits for the stakeholders who steer them.

This massive war achieved its goal by destroying Syria. but it could not subdue Syria to be governed or controlled by massive forces. The country has withstood multiple factors.

The results of the conflict prove that the calm ophthalmologist Bashar al-Assad enjoys great popularity in Syria even in areas of tension, because these people know that those who insult their dignity are those linked to foreign sides, not the president in person who is of a humanitarian, scientific, and strategic character.  His first interest is in achieving the best for his people.  His popularity is the fundamental pillar of the state and the steadfastness of the Syrian army today - added to by Russia’s strategic support for the state and the Syrian army in this global war, as well as the support from Iran's ally, Hezbollah. When we say Russia and Iran, we are talking about global superpowers.