It is a dangerous development that Syria rebels, along with jihadist elements from al-Qaida, have captured a military air defense base of the regime near Aleppo. Videos available online show rebels roaming inside the base and inspecting the stockpile of missiles.
Just imagine what will happen if militants linked to al-Qaida succeed in laying their hands on the stockpile of missiles and chemical weapons in the volatile country.
It should be noted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently assured the United States that the stockpiles are safe and secure. Russia claimed to help the US negotiate the issue with the Syrian regime.
The biggest problem in resolving the Syrian crisis is the stubborn attitude of President al-Assad. The dictator has been using force against pro-democracy people from day one, as he wants to quell the uprising against his rule at any cost.
What are Syrians demanding from the dictator? Why have world powers failed to restore peace and tranquility in the violence-wracked country? People demand rule of law in the country besides establishment of democracy, as they believe that their basic rights, including freedom of expression, can only be provided and protected by a democratic government. As for the world powers, they appear less interested in resolving the crisis, but are more worried about the volatile country’s stockpiles of chemical and other sophisticated weapons.
According to media reports, Syrian chemical stockpiles are the largest in the world with hundreds of lethal chemical agents and Scud missiles. The security forces loyal to the regime are also equipped with artillery rockets to deliver poisons to their targets. The country acquired the stockpiles from Russia, China and Iran to use them against Israel. All these three countries have also got their vested interests in Syria and therefore, they are supportive of Assad’s brutal regime.
What is the way forward? How can lethal weapons of Syria be made secure? The world powers, including the US, Russia and the UK, should move a resolution in the United Nations Security Council seeking complete scouring of Syria's chemical and other lethal weapons and take them into protective custody. If the enraged protesters or militants eying the arsenals succeed in taking custody of them, it could prove disastrous for the whole world. The crumbling regime of Assad should also be warned of dire consequences if the weapons slipped into the hands of terrorists or even charged protesters. On the other hand, it is encouraging to see that the people are still committed to remove Assad and bring a democratic set up in the battered country. Opposition forces and pro-democracy people still stay vibrant despite brutalities and oppression by the dictator. The world powers should also make sincere efforts to unite all opposition groups under a single banner so that a decisive move against the dictator could be started.