Caabu Letter in the Economist on Syria and safe zones - 17 February 2012
SIR – Setting up a buffer zone in northern Syria would most certainly not create a “safe haven”, as you put it, particularly if the area is used to train opposition fighters (“How to set Syria free”, February 11th). It would be a battleground. There is also no chance of the Assad regime acquiescing in its establishment. Any soldiers trying to head towards the area would be shelled by the regime. The zone itself would come under fire. It would be the last place Syrian civilians would go to seek safety as it would become the next centre of fighting, where the regime would have the advantage of knowing where all its opponents are going. Many Syrians are actually taking refuge in the cities that have not borne the brunt of fighting, where they do feel safer.
Arming the opposition has only helped to increase the bloodshed. The regime, in its bloodthirsty fashion, has upped its firepower to quash opponents with weaponry they cannot match. Whatever the outside powers do for Syria it must not make matters worse than they already are.
Council for Arab-British Understanding