BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri blasted the international community Friday for what he called its disregard for the suffering of the Syrian people for more than two years.
“The oppressed Syrian people are stricken by misfortunes. Among the ‘masters’ of the international community, they find no one who recognizes their existence, freedom and dignity,” Hariri said in a front-page editorial published in Al-Mustaqbal newspaper Friday. “Rather, they are leaving them to the monsters of these black times, who for more than two years have been snapping at them and chasing them with all of the weapons of death and destruction.”
More than 110,000 people have been killed in the Syrian war, which has lasted for two-and-a-half years. Hariri condemned the international community for a lack of humanitarian concern.
“The Syrian people aren’t included in the dictionary of the ‘great ones,’ even if 1 million of them are killed, or if Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hama and all of Syria are totally destroyed,” the head of the Future Movement said. “International calculations lie elsewhere; the international discussion is currently taking place regarding the use of chemical weapons.”
“The issue is about weapons and not about who gets killed by these weapons. As if there is someone who wants to say that the hundreds of victims who fell in Ghouta, the thousands who were invaded by the killing machine of Bashar Assad, and the destroyed cities, villages, and historical and religious sites all over Syria, are just “zero” in the eyes of the great powers, as long as they were not killed or destroyed by chemical weapons,” he added.
Hariri’s comments come as Syria is engaged in dialogue on turning over its stockpile of chemical weapons to the international community to avert a U.S.-led military strike against it.
The U.S. has threatened to strike the regime of President Bashar Assad in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians in the southern suburbs of Damascus last month.
“The Syrian people are nonexistent in the equations of the ‘masters’ of the international community. What exists for them are chemical weapons, and in which direction these weapons may move,” Hariri said.
Hariri also questioned the international community’s reaction in the event the Assad regime launches a chemical attack against another country in the region instead of targeting the Syrian people.
He asked if the Russian-backed proposal that would see Syria give up control of its chemical weapon stockpiles would be accepted if Assad’s chemical attack targeted Israel, Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon.
“What if these chemical weapons were launched against Israel? Would the United States and Europe have dared to accept the Russian proposal?” Hariri asked.
“What if these weapons were used against Turkey? Would NATO countries also have dared to accept the Russian proposal?” he asked. “And what if the chemical weapons were fired at Jordan? Would the American administration and the friendly European countries have moved ahead with the Russian proposal? And what if these weapons were directed toward Lebanon? What would the world’s countries do about this?”
Hariri said the possible international reaction in response to a chemical strike against Israel would be a fierce attack against Assad.
“All major countries, including Russia and China, will unite to wage war against the Syrian regime, without referring to senates or to the democratic and nondemocratic parliaments.”
He added that if Turkey were targeted, “the United States and Europe would reject the Russian offer and will strongly strike the Syrian regime.”
In the event of a chemical attack on Lebanon, Hariri said the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition would blame takfiri groups.
“ Russia will make the same proposal, the United States and Europe will accept to remove the chemical weapons of the Syrian regime ... the rejection will come from the March 8 forces, which will organize a new campaign aimed at accusing the takfiris of using chemical weapons,” he said.
In conclusion, Hariri said: “The ‘masters’ of the international community take into account all interests in all directions; but unfortunately they don’t take into account the victims, who are being killed every day all over Syria.”