With nothing resolved on the Syrian crisis at the G20 summit in Russia, one can predictably say now that killing and destruction will continue to be the norm in that beleaguered country.
What is making it worst is that the war between the rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not only about the use of conventional weapons, but it has been discovered that chemical attack is being employed, too.
While, normally, the G20 summit focuses on most important international economic and financial issues in emerging and developed nations, the rift over military action in Syria took center stage during dinner.
As it happened, there were just as many members led by Russia and China, who opposed the military action against Assad’s despotic rule, as there were in favor, led by the US and France.
Western military action against Syria had looked imminent last week, but US President Barack Obama deferred the move and is seeking backing from Congress when it resumes sitting next week.
Since British lawmakers voted down a bid for strikes against the regime, Washington has found a firm partner in France.
The bone of contention was more on whether or not it was Assad who unleashed a chemical attack on August 21 outside Damascus.
According to US intelligence, more than 1,400 people living in rebel-held suburbs of Damascus were killed in the strike, which involved the use of sarin nerve gas.
A British source said that a soil and cloth sample taken from the site of the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian capital “has tested positive for sarin”.
Russian Presiden Vladimir Putin, however, needs convincing proof that it was indeed the Assad regime that used it, for it is very possible that the rebels may have acquired chemical weapons and used it and later put the blame on Assad.
Putin is threatening to send a missile shield to Syria if the US launches an attack without the authority of the United Nations.
Other notable leaders don’t think military strike will solve the problem in Syria.
China says, “War cannot solve the problem in Syria.” It would push up oil prices and create an economic downturn.
Like U.K., Germany has also ruled out participating in any US-led military action.
EU president Herman van Rompuy said while the Damascus chemical attack was “a crime against humanity” there was “no military solution to the Syrian conflict”.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon said , “A political solution is the only way to end the bloodshed in Syria.”
The president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, said consensus in the international community was needed on Syria and argued that efforts should be focused on a political solution.
Even Pope Francis added his voice to the calls for a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis, warning against the “futile pursuit of a military solution”.
So, there you go.
Only God knows when the Syrian crisis that is causing consternation and pain among the freedom loving people in this world will be over.
Meanwhile, the world will continue witnessing the devastation in historic Syria, the suffering of adults and children in refugee camps and the statistics of death within.
What a calamity!