Where is the much-touted cease-fire in Syria? As many as 70 people including women and children were killed on Thursday in an explosion in Syria. The exact nature of the blast was not clear till filing of this report. Eyewitnesses said that among the deceased were 13 children and 16 women. It is appalling and terrible, indeed. Rebels and the government are busy in blaming each other, while little is being done on ground to rescue and treat the injured. It is a big tragedy in the city of Hama.
Following the explosion, the opposition blamed the security forces loyal to the regime for firing a rocket at a building that caused the explosion and took lives of around six dozen innocent people. On the other hand, the government officials said the explosion was caused by the explosive kept in the building. The security forces said the rebels mishandled the explosive material that ultimately caused the huge blast and killed people. Who is right and who is wrong is yet to be ascertained. United Nations observers are looking into the situation and they have yet to explain the nature of explosion.
With the rising violence with every passing day, the fate of volatile peace agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to be fading fast. United Nations-Arab League Special Envoy to Syriareached an agreement with President Bashar al-Assad two weeks back to end violence in the country. Under the agreement, the Syrian government has to withdraw troops from population centers in the first step as a good will gesture, while the rebels are also asked to respect the cease-fire. In the second phase, the government is to hold meaningful dialogue with the opposition leaders to bring peace and stability in the country.
We must say the much-touted peace deal is being flouted both by the opposition and the government. Nobody is willing to listen to the international community, while the violence continues to ratchet up in the volatile country. It has been around 13 months to the uprising against the rule of Assad, but people are yet to see any change in the government, let alone ouster of the president. People were inspired by the popular uprising in Tunisia and Egypt, where dictators were overthrown within weeks of protests against them. According to a United Nations report, more than 9,000 innocent civilians have been killed so far in the uprising and many more may fall victim to it in the coming days and months.
After Saudi Arabia and Qatar, France has also urged the international community to physically intervene in Syria and play a role to oust the dictator. This appears to be the only way forward in case of the stubborn Syrian dictator. Let’s see what happens in the coming days and months.