Foreword

A Farewell to a Dreadful Year


Last night, the Syrian people said good-bye to 2018. It was not a good year at all. In this year, the regime extended its power over the Southern region and the Eastern Ghouta region, which left much of it in rubles and led to the killing of thousands of Syrians and the displacement of dozens of thousands. On February 19, Syrian army forces backed by Russian warplanes escalated the offensive on Eastern Ghouta, killing hundreds of people within days. On February 25, the Syrian army forces launched a ground offensive to retake control of the area. On March 9, fighters from a group excluded in the UN ceasefire resolution were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta to other areas in Syria under opposition control. By April 8, all opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta agreed to evacuate. On April 12, all of Eastern Ghouta was declared under the control of the Syrian army, and Russian military police patrols.

January 1, 2019


A Farewell to a Dreadful Year

Wael Sawah – Pro-justice

Last night, the Syrian people said good-bye to 2018. It was not a good year at all. In this year, the regime extended its power over the Southern region and the Eastern Ghouta region, which left much of it in rubles and led to the killing of thousands of Syrians and the displacement of dozens of thousands.

On February 19, Syrian army forces backed by Russian warplanes escalated the offensive on Eastern Ghouta, killing hundreds of people within days. On February 25, the Syrian army forces launched a ground offensive to retake control of the area. On March 9, fighters from a group excluded in the UN ceasefire resolution were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta to other areas in Syria under opposition control. By April 8, all opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta agreed to evacuate. On April 12, all of Eastern Ghouta was declared under the control of the Syrian army, and Russian military police patrols.

The Assad regime, which has become a puppet of the Russian occupation, managed to retrieve control over much of the country. He used the chemical weapons over and over in 2018. While Assad’s allies strengthened their support to hit, the Syrian people (supposedly) allies were quitting and leaving the Syrians alone face the regime, the Russian, and the Iranian forces with all their militias.

However, nothing can be compared to the move that President Donald Trump announced earlier in December: the withdrawal of his forces from Syria, the abandonment of Syrians in general, and the Kurds in northeastern Syria in particular. He used the Syrian Kurds as a professional card player uses the joker to win a game, before throwing it aside, collecting his money, and leaving.

The year did not end without a shower of gifts to Syria’s dictator. Assad Sudanese counterpart Omar Bashir paid him a visit, The UAE and Bahrain reopened their embassies in Damascus. The ailing Algerian president is reportedly pressuring Tunisia to invite Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to the Arab League summit to convene in the North African country early next year.  Head of Syria’s National Security Bureau and the leading criminal in the Syrian security sector, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, arrived in Cairo. And Jordan was also seeking to restore its ties with Syria, putting it down to Syria’s military gains that have secured their common border. A Jordanian parliamentary delegation had recently visited the Syrian capital and taken back a message from President Assad to King Abdullah II. Signs are accumulating that the two countries are normalizing ties gradually.

The Syrians did not show any affection to 2018 on its departure. They have no other option but to be optimistic with the 2019, although there is little evidence that it will be any better. One sure thing though: crimes against humanity do not have a statute of limitation. No matter how long it will take, a day will come and we will bring the major culprits to justice.