The Times today call for shipping further arms to rebel groups in Syria as ‘the best prospect for easing the suffering’.
There does appear, howvever, to be a strong correlation between the number of arms being shipped in by Qatar/KSA/USA et al, and the number of people being killed (with more arms likely to exacerbate the conflict yet further). Recommending a course of action likely to kill far more people than are already dying is hardly what I would call a recipe for ‘easing the suffering’.
International meddling has also made a negotiated solution less, and not more, likely, with the U.N. Commission reporting in February 2013 that:
‘In the last six months of the period under review, the conflict became increasingly violent and complex, and efforts to achieve a political settlement stalled. In supporting various parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, regional and international actors hampered the prospects of a negotiated settlement owing to their divergent interests‘.
Their latest report, published in June 2013, states that:
‘The current political impasse and military escalation are the by-product of the regional and international standoff between the Government’s backers and its opponents, translating into arms consignments and political backing to both sides by their respective allies’.
You have a number of venal and predatory international and regional powers trying to promote their own interests in Syria – of which the U.K. and its allies are a part – with little regard for the consequences of their actions for actually living people on the ground. And these states need to be kept out of Syria, rather than asked to go further in.