Wars are not solely military phenomena; they involve civilians, women, children and the elderly, raze cities and destroy the infrastructure of countries. The worst evil is that people treat one another with love-lessness and hatred. In the absence of love – the food of life – only destructive violence and suffering prevail. The civil war in Syria that began in March 2011 continues to cost thousands of lives and create devastated ‘dead’ cities.
As the jets of the regime destroy whole towns with barrel bombs, various opposition groups are fighting among themselves for territorial advantage. To that has now been added the bombs of an international coalition initiated to destroy ISIL.
More than three million buildings in Syria have been destroyed and more than 200,000 people have been killed, 160,000 of them civilians. At least 6,000 people have been shown to have been tortured, while increasing hunger, thirst and poor health conditions are worsening living conditions. Bearing in mind that 18,000 of the civilians killed were children, and 16,000 were women, we can obtain a better picture of the scale of the horror in the country. Some 10 million innocent Syrians have abandoned their homes in a bid to escape the slaughter; around four million of these have had to seek safety as refugees in other countries.
Turkey has begun playing host to some 1.5 million refugees by opening its 911-km long border with Syria. Turkey has built 24 tent cities for these people, each one the size of a municipal district, spending $3.5 billion in the process. The number of refugees is expected to reach two million by the end of the year.
One hundred seventy thousand Syrians only recently fled from Syria to escape attacks by ISIL and took refuge in Turkey in a very short time. Indeed, 138,000 of these came in an intense wave in just three days: That figure is equivalent to the number of refugees accepted by Europe in three and half years. It would be unacceptable to keep two million people fleeing from Syria for their lives waiting at the border because death is nipping at their heels. It is also very difficult to check the people coming when the border is in such turmoil. If the arrivals include internationally wanted terror suspects then there is no means of detecting them. If the people entering wish to return to Syria, it is very hard to establish why people want to go back to their country. The existing insecure border therefore results not only in slaughter, but also in a spiral of violence that threatens the whole world.
People fleeing war, conflict and death need a region where they can be safe. The most correct international decision in the name of humanity is the establishment of a ‘secure zone’ along Syria’s border with Turkey. The most urgent need is to establish an area where people fleeing the Assad regime, ISIL, the PKK and all other gangs can all live in safety along with the local inhabitants. A buffer zone established via a U.N. decision will represent a place where millions can leave in peace and security. People will see that love has not departed the world, and that love overcomes hatred. This will be a decision that satisfies the entire world.
U.S. Chief of Staff Dempsey says that a buffer zone might be a possibility at some point, but it is not a part of the present campaign. Following his visit to the Turkish-Syrian border, Adam Kinzinger, a member of the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee and a Republican Party Congressman, expressed the need for a ‘no-fly zone’ due to humanitarian reasons. Actually this is the rational and pressing step to take. Now is the time to show the Syrians our love and affection, and to show the wicked that the world is not alone.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arabian Gazette: