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A huge price tag needed!

Apr 09,2018 - Last updated at Apr 09,2018

The state-run Syrian news agency said that the Syrian air defences shot down eight missiles fired by the United States at an airbase near Hums. Other missiles have reached their target though. As of writing this article, the Pentagon has denied the Syrian claims that the United Stated launched a missile attack on Syria in the wake of the accusations that the Syrian regime has staged a chemical attack in Douma, a major city of Ghouta.

It is not as if the Syrian regime uses chemical attacks for the first time. In fact, Bashar Assad does not attach any importance to the American stand so long as he enjoys the backing of the Russians. He feels that the Americans are on their way out of Syria and that any punitive attack would not be a game changer.

That is being said, chances are high that the United States and France will attack Syria, especially after US President Donald Trump has threatened that there would be a “big price to pay”. It remains to be seen which retaliatory action President Trump has in mind. To be sure, Russia will veto any resolution at the Security Council.

Casting aside the missile attack on Syria, the problem is a way deeper. It boils down to the point whether there is an international will to impose a solution that can put an end to this ongoing massacre against civilians in Syria. While the previous chemical attacks sparked an international outrage, little has been done to change the situation on the ground. The Syrian regime, desperate for a final victory, does not pay a huge price for all atrocities it has inflicted on the Syrian people.

With due respect to what the Americans can do in the region, the impression that the United States is in its way out of the region is, to say the least, ubiquitous. This has emboldened American foes in this part of the region. Needless to say, the American observers are not oblivious to this fact. Over the course of the seven years of the Syrian crisis, the American administrations have failed to interfere positively and constructively in the Syrian crisis, thus allowing Russia to play the key role.

To be sure, it was much easier for the Americans to impose their will a few years ago than now. With no doubt, the American troops can fire missiles as much as the administration wishes, but this will not make the Americans a key player as long as Assad and his backers understand that they are winning the battle on Syria.

It is not, therefore, enough to blame Assad and Putin. Unless there is a huge price tag, the Syrian regime is not expected to budge. Perhaps, it is the time for the international community to realise that Assad does not care about the size of destruction or the number of causalities as long as he can survive. Sadly, some key countries have implicitly or explicitly begun to see the survival of Assad as a foregone reality. 

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