Watching the debate for hours on BBC was something I did not plan to do on Friday 26th of September, but I couldn’t turn away from watching the inevitable unfold. In the opening statement, David Cameron announced that ISIL is a terrorist organisation which threatens the UK and therefore must be fought. He also cited the killing of two British citizens as an example of how ISIL ( ISIS or IS) is a threat to UK. But I found myself wondering why Mr. Cameron did not mention the killing of Dr. Abbas Khan, who was a British doctor arrested and then killed by the Assad regime in 2012 for working in a makeshift clinic in Aleppo, and what kind of threat to the UK that represents.
It was very difficult for me to grasp why ISIS is such a threat to the whole world when their victims have reached a 1000, while Assad’s regime has killed more than 150,000 innocent civilians. It was a bit strange that the UN did not send observers to contact witnesses and talk to victims and visit different areas and groups. The UN did not invite ISIS to Geneva 1, 2 or 3. ISIS hasn’t used chemical weapons and hasn’t committed a massacre – yet. They don’t have a navy or air forces which consistently bombard civilians, bakeries and hospitals. The crimes Assad’s regime has committed so far were far more brutal than ISIS’s; yet no strike was ordered against his regime, nor was a no-fly zone enforced, a request which the Syrian people have continuously asked for.
What frustrated me more, is that the strikes so far have killed more than 24 civilians who had nothing to do with either ISIS, the Assad regime or the USA, UK, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Jordan. Actually, these Arabic countries have banned Syrians from entering their countries a long time ago and now they’re bombing the people who are trapped in their own country. And how is that viewed in Syria? More and more people, or at least this is the reaction I see online and via some friends who are still there, now believe that the whole world is giving Assad the green light to commit whatever crimes he wants to do as long as they are secular and don’t involve a bearded army. In fact many people in Syria see the strike as a favour for Assad in giving him a helping hand to get rid of the terrorists who directly threaten him, and who could take control of the country if they keep growing and developing. As a Syrian refugee myself, while watching the debate I found myself confronted with the notion that the MP’s on a whole agree that Islamic terrorism must be fought and erased, but Assad’s systematic state terrorism is tolerated and, maybe, understandable.