Enforce a No-Fly zone over Syria

By Freeyad Ibrahim: KURDISTAN TRIBUNE  – 13.8.2013 – Today the Syrian tyrant is ordering his heavy- weaponed military and Iranian-and-Hisbullah  mercenaries to shoot his people in the streets like “rats” and “cockroaches”. – Yet his people are still paying a terrible price for freedom. And the fear is that, even now, Mr Assad will one way or another clamber over the corpses littering the streets to seize back the power that has slipped away from him.

In Syria Mr. Assad seems to crave blood. On March 22nd 2012, he vowed to “cleanse Syria house by house”, cost what it may cost, even by turning Syria into a big  blood pool. If such a bloodthirsty dictator will prevail, dictators over the world will know which course to follow in the future.

Rather than appease them and make dirty deals for the sake of oil and geopolitics, the argument goes, the only ethical foreign policy is to reject them and walk away. Indignation alone could pave a way for a strategy for dealing with dictators.

But it seldom makes sense to isolate large parts of the world permanently, no matter how cruel and inhuman the tyrants who govern them. The question raised by the wave of protests spreading across the Middle East is how to deal with the tyrants. The priority is to push the strongmen towards reform and away from violence. But all efforts to push the tyrant of Syria towards reform did not avail! And never will prevail.


The western governments and US were right to stand behind the protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya.

It is time to do more for the Syrian people who are bleeding to death.

America’s army chiefs were right to use their influence to restrain Egypt’s armed forces from shooting into the crowds during the mass uprising against the regime of Mubarak.

Now that Mr. Assad uses his heavy weapons, tanks and artillery and soon air force and even chemical bombs to kill large numbers of his own people, indifferently and with cool blood, the world would be right to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.

Sooner, not later, please!

Freeyad Ibrahim was born in Soran, near Erbil. He was forced to flee Iraq in 1997 and now lives with his family in the Netherlands.  While still in the homeland, he worked as a journalist, translator and essay, article and short story writer. He graduated from the Bagdad University English department in 1981 and a decade later got a masters degree in Arabic language and eastern literature. Today he writes and translates in Kurdish, Arabic, English, Dutch and Farsi. He has written two novels, in Arabic and in Dutch, and is completing two more, in English and Arabic.