Syrian Community Protest in New Delhi Against West-led Strikes

It is not an exaggeration that in recent times, Syrian Civil War has grabbed the attention once the Israel-Palestine conflict had. Simply put, Syria has become Middle East’s new cauldron.

The ongoing conflict has encouraged the major global powers to wedge their own axe, supporting and opposing, the state and myriad non-state actors.

All these powerful players use Syrian soil as a ground for their own proxy wars, each of these nation overlooks the plight of the Syrian people, their sufferings, losing homes, family, and livelihood. Some photos revolving around the internet makes us lament.

Turning the pages of history, after the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was demarcated into several new nations, thus creating the modern Arab world and the Republic of Turkey. Following the Sykes-Picot Agreement between France, the UK and Russia in 1916, the then League of Nations granted France mandates over Syria and Lebanon in 1923.

The French divided the region into six states based on the sectarian lines. However, nearly all these Syrian sects were unfriendly to the French mandate and to the divisions it created. This hostility attitude was best demonstrated by the numerous revolts that the French encountered in the Syrian states in the following years.

During the Second World War, with the fall of France in 1940, Syria came under the control of the Vichy Government until the British and Free France invaded and occupied the country in 1941. Syria proclaimed its independence in 1941 but it was not until 1 January 1944 that it was recognized as an independent republic. The French evacuated their last troops on 17 April 1946.

17 April is celebrated as Evacuation Day in Syria. It is observed by the Syrian diaspora all over the world. And in Delhi, last week the Syrian community gathered, for two reasons, firstly, to commemorate the Evacuation Day, and secondly to protest against the ongoing attacks on Syria.

People gathered around expressed their solidarity in condemning the concerted attack on Syria. They blamed the war, tearing the country, once a cradle of culture and civilization into bloody pieces we witness today. They voiced and raised slogans against the recent unwarranted interference of the West, whose airstrikes claimed millions of innocent Syrian lives.

These Western powers in the pretext of fighting terror outfits like ISIS attempt to claim influence over the rich oil fields of Syria. It is held by many Syrian people that the West is making false allegations on President Assad, as he maintains a stockpile of WMDs and conducting chemical attacks on civilians with help of Russians. The Syrian diaspora in India feels that these fake news spread by some west backed media houses are another western-led false propaganda in the Middle East.

The Kootneeti correspondent had a conversation with a Syrian citizen in the gathering, who said “We deny all the false allegations made by the West on our government. Our government and its army had fought tooth and nail to curb the ISIS and other fake Islamic organizations operating in Syria.”

An old Syrian citizen who was seen active in the gathering said, “Now the situation is under control. Now there is no one to harass us. Thanks to our army, who chased these wolves out of our homeland. But we again smell fear in the air because of recent air strikes by the US and its allies.”

We don’t know when the Syrians will see the sunrise happily in this war-torn nation but there is a light of hope for them, that they will soon see peace and harmony.

The gathering honoured the ordeals faced by the Syrians to gain a peaceful life. Syrians have not lost hope.

Abhinav Kaushal, Special Correspondent for Diplomatic Missions in New Delhi

Image courtesy: Rami Kassam and Abhinav Kaushal

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