ibnlive » Chat

4pm Sep 02, 2013

War on Syria and its implications

War clouds looming over Syria. Indian nationals have been asked to leave Syria. People in the gulf are tense. What are the implications of a US led war on Syria?
12 questions answered
  • Will a war break out without UK and Germany participation ? Which side will the french go ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja The British are out of it after the recent vote in the House of Commons. The Germans have also stepped aside. The French will follow the US lead. All eyes should therefore now be on what the US congress decides after it convenes on September 9
  • Chemical weapons from North Korea to Syria. what is the extent of truth in this allegation ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja There are rumours to this effect but no concrete evidence has emerged so far. But the real issue is that the Syrians have a large stockpile of chemical weapons. Whether they used some of it is extremely doubtful as their forces were making impressive military gains against the rebels. So the accusations against the Syrian regime that it used Sarin gas sound quite illogical to me.
  • Is OIL,Democracy or terror the focus for USA wanting to intervene ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja Interesting question. There is a lot of geopolitics here. If a regime change is eventually accomplished following the US military involvement, it will clear the way for a pipeline project where gas is sourced from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It can then be passed through Jordan to terminate at the Syrian Mediterranean coastline. The markets of course is Europe. The Russians are monopoly suppliers of gas to Europe and are totally opposed to this.
  • India as usual remain non committal and will it join with the majority at a later stage ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja Frankly India can't afford to remain on the sidelines. An attack on Syria is bound to spike oil prices further. There is a danger that if Iran gets embroiled in this conflict which is quite conceivable, the Gulf which has US bases gets sucked into it. That means mayhem. It will also expose millions of Indians in the Gulf to a war. A nightmare scenario of government of India contemplating mass evacuations of millions of Indian nationals can quickly emerge. So very high stakes for India, which must do its diplomatic bit to help defuse this crisis.
  • Undivided NATO .no support of British Parliament and German,yet venturing into war cry,is USA paranoid as a saviour of democracy ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja I don't think democracy has anything to do with this. Yes there are a lot of geopolitical stakes involved. Plus there are a number of domestic reasons including the heavy influence of pro-war organisations such as the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on core decision making centres in Washington and the US political class as a whole. In fact, in case the congress does not support Obama for a war, it would be stunning, if not historic defeat for the Israeli lobby in the US.
  • Don't you think that it will lead to more instability in the middle-east? Saira Asked by: Saira, Mumbai
  • Atul Aneja Of course Saira. The point is that a chain reaction can commence even after Syria is subjected to a surgical strike. I doubt Iran would remain on the sidelines. And Tehran's involvement could make large parts of the Gulf a tinder-box. Please note that Iran along with Russia and China sees these attacks at an attempt at regime change--notwithstanding statements to the contrary that have emerged from Washington. Regime change in Syria means that they, that is the Iranians could be next in line. If Iran falls, the Eurasian landmass which is critical to Russia and China gets exposed. For Russia and China, Syria is its first line of defence and Iran is the second line of defence in the protection of the core resource rich Eurasian landmass.
  • Has the UN committee given it's verdict on use of Sarin by the syrian forces ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja Not yet. It might take up to two weeks for the samples to be fully analysed.
  • Is it a failure of United Nations Security Council for not able to reach consensus on a plan about handling syrian crisis? Asked by: Somil Pahuja
  • Atul Aneja When it comes to questions related to West Asia after the Arab Spring, the UNSC is totally divided. The benchmark for this shift was in the autumn of 2011 when a UN Security Council resolution for a no-fly zone in Libya was misused by NATO to achieve regime change by way of assassination of Libyan leader Muamaar Gaddafi. After this event the Russians and the Chinese decided not to fall for NATO's humanitarian interventions which essentially are cover for regime change. Thus Moscow and Beijing not wanting another regime change have put their foot down when it came to Syria.
  • Why the United States of America want to go alone with its decision for limited military strike on Syria? Asked by: Somil Pahuja
  • Atul Aneja There are several reasons for that. First, the Americans since the Bush presidency and backed by the neocons actively engaged in a "regime change" project which starts with Iraq in 2003. Other recent victim is Libya where Muammar Gaddafi was toppled. Syria and Iran are other targets of the regime change campaign. Second the Saudis and the Qataris, who want to weaken the alliance of Iran, Syria and the Lebanese Hizbollah are egging on the US to strike Damascus. Finally a dominant faction of the Israeli lobby is supporting the call for war.
  • Sir, what will happen to the Indians working in the Gulf? Do they lose jobs like 1991? Asked by: Divya. Dubai
  • Atul Aneja I think there is real danger of the spillover of the war from Syria to the wider West Asia including the Gulf. If that happens it is bound to hit the millions of Indians residing in the Gulf.
  • Russia and China getting together to side with Syrian ruler is for what strategic reason ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Atul Aneja There are of course many strategic factors. The relationship between Russia and China has consolidated after the so called the US pivot to Asia, which essentially is a project meant to contain China. The fear of a hostile US has strengthened the strategic bonds between Beijing and Moscow. Both countries apprehend that eventually they will be the targets of regime change. Thus both these countries see Syria as their first line of defence and Iran as the second. This is necessary to protect the Eurasian landmass and the new silk road countries which are of vital interest to Beijing and Moscow. But their are ideological factors as well. Both Russia and China are strong advocates of national sovereignty which is enshrined in the UN charter. The two are are also vociferously arguing for the salience of international law in resolving international disputes such as Syria.
  • Will this war have any impact on people living in Northern part of Iraq, (Kurdistan) ? Asked by: Raman
  • Atul Aneja I don't think northern Iraq will be spared if this war happens and prolongs. Encouraged by Iran, there s likely to be an inflow of pro-Assad people from Iraq, which could draw Baghdad into the conflict. Plus there is already an attempt by the embattled Syrian government to encourage the Kurds to take on their arch-foe Turkey, under the possible inducement of autonomy if not more once the conflict resolves in Syria's favour. The Kurds in places like Arbil and Sulaymania cannot remain insulated from these broader conflictual trends.

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Atul Aneja
The Hindu's West Asia Correspondent

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Atul Aneja
The Hindu's West Asia Correspondent

War on Syria and its implications