On the back of the Arab Spring of 2011 people across a range of Middle Eastern countries decided to follow suit and make a bid from democracy. Regimes toppled and new found freedoms led to optimism. More than a year later too many people in the Middle East are still no closer to securing democracy.
Syria has remained a problem. The UN has used limited action such as sending in monitors but steps have fallen short of those used in Libya. However Syria is not Libya.
If you believe the regime, those opposing it are a minority , terrorists and in many cases foreign nationals. The rebels however tell a different tale. They claim to fighting hard to rid Syria of a despot, Bashar al Assad, and his corrupt officials.
Today July 18, 2012 there is fierce fighting underway in the Syrian capital of Damascus. There are reports that a police station is in flames. The latest news is that a suicide bomber has managed to enter the inner sanctum of government and has wreaked havoc.
The dead are said to include the country's defense minister Daoud Rajha, and President Bashir al-Assad’s brother-in-law Asef Shawkatwho, who is the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian military. This will be a blow for the regime although currently they are attempting to play the attack down.
The regime claims that there are no other deaths but the insurgents maintain that the Minister for the Interior is also dead. The ongoing fighting between both sides in Damascus has led to civilian casualties.
Early reports indicate that the suicide bomber was one on the regime's own bodyguards. Rebels insist the suicide attack and fighting of the last three days shows that it isonly a matter of time before the regime crumbles. The regime continues to claim that the rebels are being propped up by outside agencies and Forces.
Syria is a mess. There is no doubt that the Assad regime is way past its sell by date. However the West has shown its hypocritical side once more. Playing games with the Middle East is dangerous and is bound to backfire in the long run.
When is a rebel an insurgent or a terrorist? It would seem only if they are on a side not supported by the West. All is fair in love and war? That old chestnut will be used by both sides.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog