“War is a systematic barbarism despite efforts to mask it,” French statesman and military leader Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821).
In a surprising step by all standards, the world received news about President of the Republic of Sudan Omar Al-Bashir’s arrival in Damascus – the capital of Syria – where President of Syria Bashar Al-Assad welcomed him at Damascus International Airport.
This is the first announced visit of an Arab leader since the start of crisis in Syria in 2011.
The importance of this visit lies in several factors, among them breaking the isolation ice which cocooned the Syrian regime throughout the crisis years, although the isolation started a year ago when we began witnessing Syrian national football teams participating in various Arab events, especially in the Gulf countries, in addition to reopening its embassies in different nations and the opening of its border with Jordan which broke a major part of the isolation.
Apparently, the conviction of countries, especially the Arab countries, to isolate Syria has significantly changed. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that the conflict extended for a long time giving the regime a favorable status, let alone the support it receives in its war from Russia, Iran, China and other countries, and the reduced support given to resistant groups fighting against the regime.
Nonetheless, I believe the visit of the Sudanese President to Syria marks the start of visits by heads of states and officials to Damascus. This will restore activity at Damascus International Airport after getting used to receiving only the regime’s allies since the start of the conflict.
Without a doubt, this presidential visit is a pragmatic decision taken by the Sudanese president, considering the voice which currently dominates in Syria is that of the regime due to the failure of the revolution whose participants ended up fighting against each other.
This gave the regime a chance to succeed in its efforts to gain control over all the land controlled by rebels and the emergence of organizations like ‘DAESH’ which prompted the international community to rethink its position on Syria and its leadership.
In fact, the international community does not deal with each other based on emotions. Instead, the one who gets attention is the one who is in charge of the situation and able to fulfill obligations towards the global community. All these characteristics fit the Syrian regime, especially since it has managed to gain control over most Syrian territories to become the dominant player in the conflict.
On the Syrian opposition, its ability to fulfill its commitments and obligations shrunk, particularly after it was infiltrated and became divided up to the extent of becoming weak and a tool for known regional powers.
We should not be surprised if we see the rise of visits to Syria by heads of states or senior officials representing regional and even global major powers.
Perhaps, the visit of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to Syria signals the near end of the conflict, as well as various conflicts which the region has been witnessing for the past few years. The Syrian regime would have indirectly benefited from these conflicts and enabled it to end this ‘Arab Spring,’ or rather, the ‘Arab autumn’.
In the Levant, there is a popular adage: “Tomorrow the snow will thaw and the meadow will appear.” This is happening in Syria, where everyone is waiting for the day when peace, security and stability will emerge, just like how the meadow emerged from the melting snow.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi