Poland & The Syrian Conflict
Poland can pressure the Syrian government to have a dialogue with the rebels in a bid to stop the civil war in the country. It can also advise NATO to stop funding the rebels as a way of ensuring the weapons do not fall in the wrong hand.
POLAND'S PART IN THE SYRIAN CONFLICT
- The Arab Spring, which started in 2011, was a period that saw anti-government protests spread from North Africa to the Middle East. Several leaders, including the President of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen were ousted by the revolution.
- The high-handedness of the Syrian government in dealing with the peaceful protest was instrumental in fueling the armed rebellion that has led to a civil war that has lasted for eight years and has resulted in the deaths of millions of people.
- Syrian has also been affected by the uprisings, but President Assad has been able to stay in power because of the support that he received from Russia and Iran.
- Although the President has not been overthrown, there are huge parts of the country that are under rebel control.
- Different foreign countries, such as Poland, have been involved in the humanitarian aspects of the Syrian conflict in a bid to stop the bloodshed.
- There was news of people in the refugee camps starving, which prompted the Poland government to take action.
- Poland was also involved in the military intervention in Syria indirectly by endorsing the NATO airstrikes on targets that were believed to harbor chemical weapons which were used on Syrian civilians.
- In 2016, the Polish defense minister announced that they were going to deploy Polish F-16 fighter jets in Syria to help fight ISIS.
- The Polish government has also sent in special forces to train the forces that are fighting the extremists in Syria.
- The Polish government has also been working with the Syrian government to find ways in which they can bring back the refugees who had fled to Poland.
- Additionally, Poland is working with different European Union countries to ensure victims of war get an education to avoid having a lost generation.
POSSIBLE POSITIONS POLAND CAN TAKE IN SYRIA
- Poland can choose to support the rebels, be an intermediary between the government and the rebels, or support the government.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF SUPPORTING THE REBELS
- If Poland sides with the rebels, they will help them overthrow a government that has been accused of killing its civilians, thereby ensuring that a regime that uses banned weapons (chemical) is extinguished.
- This decision will help put a stop to the deaths of thousands of people that are being bombed by Syrian government forces.
- By taking this stand, Poland would have an opportunity to bring democracy to a country that has been ruled by a dictator through military force for many years.
- Supporting the rebels to overthrow the government can, however, backfire as has been the case in Libya. Once the Libyan rebels were able to overthrow Gadafi, the country disintegrated and has never recovered.
- Poland’s decision to side with the rebels may have the same consequences.
BENEFITS OF BEING AN INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES
- Poland can choose to learn from the mistakes of Libya and avoid supporting either side. This decision can have positive results if the two sides are able to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
- The benefit of the conflict resolution is the ability to stop the death of thousands of innocent people.
- In addition, Poland will be able to bring democracy and justice to the country that has been torn by war.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF SUPPORTING THE GOVERNMENT
- By siding with the Syrian government, the Poland government would reduce the possibility of arms falling into the hands of extremist groups. This decision may allow the government and the opposition reach a peaceful settlement.
- However, siding with the government may give a chance for war criminals in the Syrian government to get away with war crimes.