People across the globe were shocked of seeing waves of innocent Syrian men, women and children forced to migrate and seek refuge in European countries. The heartbreaking scene of 71 asylum seekers dying in a truck in Austria, and many others drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while heading from Turkey to Greece is the continued trend of horrific violence committed by the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad with support provided by the Iranian regime against the Syrian nation. If the US government and European Union had not closed their eyes on the crimes committed by Khamenei in Iran, and the bloodbaths caused by Assad and Nouri Maliki in Syria and Iraq, the people of Syria and Iraq would not be displaced today and the terrorist ISIS group would not be controlling large swathes of both of these countries.
If Bashar Assad was not in Syria, and Maliki not in Iraq, the Syrian refugee crisis would not have erupted and caused the horrific scenes we have all seen. It appears the world was in waiting and when the images of the 3-year Syrian child who drowned in the Aegean Sea off Turkey went viral, it finally made us all sit down and think. However, I want to focus on the political aspect – being the main feature – that has brought about this problem. It would be better to get to the roots of this issue. It is clear that the Syrian people have been fighting for their legal rights since 2011. Of course the demonstrations were peaceful in nature but the regime ruling in Syria answered them with live bullets, and afterwards it was Iran’s turn to speak through various officials in this regime emphasizing it is impossible to stop their support for the Syrian dictator. Mullah Taeb is one such individual, considered one of Khamenei’s inner circle, and he said, “We consider Syria to be our 35th province and even if we lose Khuzestan (southwestern province bordering Iraq) being the source of oil and our people’s wealth, we must not lose Syria.” Furthermore, they said if Damascus falls, Tehran will fall. Khamenei’s international affairs advisor Ali Akbar Velayati said in an interview with a French magazine, “Quote me in your piece, Bashar Assad will never fall.”
We know that this regime has dispatched its Revolutionary Guards to Syria. There is even talks of 110 battalions of IRGC and Bassij paramilitary forces in Syria. More important than its forces on the ground, Iran has also sent its top IRGC generals to Syria to command the battles in this country against the Syrian nation.
Hossein Hamedani was a division commander in charge of protecting Tehran, and he was involved in the crackdown of the 2009 Iranian people’s uprising. He came to Syria to take over the command of Iran’s forces in Syria that were already acting under the command of another IRGC commander.
It is clear that Qassem Suleimani is always travelling between Baghdad and Damascus, and he is commander of all Quds Force units and in charge of the Syria dossier for the Iranian regime. He is directly in contact with Khamenei in Tehran. We also know that the volume of assets Tehran has allocated for Syria is worth more than $100 billion. For example, Khamenei ordered then Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki to provide $10 billion to Bashar Assad instantly. The report on this issue adds that Maliki carried out the order when he realized it was directly from Khamenei himself. A large portion of the weapons used in Syria were provided by the Iranian regime, and as you know during Maliki’s tenure one of the disputes between Washington and Maliki was the fact that Iranian planes carrying weapons from Iran to Syria were using Iraqi airspace. It is clear in various issues that the regime ruling Iran is responsible for the status quo in Syria, and senior officials and various Syrian opposition figures have said the war in Syria is being guided by Iran, and the IRGC is in command of all the military activity. Even some personalities have said this issue is not just a political subject, but also all aspects of the situation in Syria is controlled by individuals associated to Tehran. It has reached a point that the late Saudi Foreign Minister Saudi Feisal had said in his interview with al-Hayat daily that Syria has been occupied by Iran. I believe similar remarks were made by other officials. Therefore, if we seek to target the root of the problem, we will come to realize that this crisis has been caused by Iran-made barrel bombs, and they are sent from Tehran to massacre Syrians and leave them with nightmares.
If we seek to reach a political, military, financial, security and … conclusion, we have to say that Syria has become a hostage in the nuclear negotiations between the international community and Tehran; meaning the Iranian regime agreed to join the nuclear talks back in 2011 only if the US refused to target Syria. These are facts that show the Iranian regime is actually behind all the scenes in the war in Syria, and Tehran is the main party responsible for this crisis and the massive catastrophes the heroic Syrian people have been suffering. As a freedom advocate, I want to say that if there were a tribunal, first and foremost, even before Bashar Assad, we must force Khamenei into this court to answer questions about the horrific atrocities the Syrian people are facing today.
I salute all youths, intellectual, human rights advocates and all humanitarian and progressive people in Europe who welcomed Syrian refugees into their soil, and pressured their relevant government s to change their foreign policy in this regard.