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US Escalation of Syria War Could Force Europe to Return to Its Dark, Old Ways

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Aug ,11 \NewNews

A new briefing from the Berlin-based Missing Migrants Project at the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, says refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years.

The number of refugees and migrants deaths in the Mediterranean Sea has so far in 2017 exceeded 2,350 victims for the fourth consecutive year.

Meantime, the UN Migration agency has reported that 115,109 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 2 August, with almost 83 percent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 261,228 arrivals across the region through 2 August 2016.

These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to the Trump White House, 24 hours of US airstrikes on Tuesday against ISIL’s self-declared capital city of Raqqa, in northern Syria, killed at least 29 civilians and wounded a large number of others, many of them seriously. The slain include nine women and 14 children.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed the incident, saying that among the slain were 14 members of the same family, who had fled from the area around Palmyra to try to escape America’s airstrikes and fighting. The US hasn’t issued a comment on the matter, though civilian deaths in airstrikes in large cities are not uncommon, and the US has been launching a lot of airstrikes against Raqqa in recent days, trying to boost the Kurdish invasion.

That said, over the course of the US military aggression against Syria as part of the ISIL war, a massive number of civilians have been killed and millions more made refugees, though the official US figures recognize only a tiny fraction of that, with large portions of the incidents dismissed as “not credible.” The US claims that it acts in collective self-defense of coalition forces, even though it knows full well that its action violates Syria’s sovereignty and International Law, and thus constitutes to the worsening of the refugee crisis.

Many Syrians say they would never have left home in the first place if it hadn’t been for the war. So peace in Syria would be the surest way of curbing the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe. However, it shouldn’t be regarded as a panacea. For a start, the situation inside the country is so complex, and involves so many parties, that it is not a realistic short-term possibility. And even if fighting was to formally stop, Syria’s post-war reckoning and occupation by the United States army will not make the country a safe place for many returning citizens.

In addition, Syrians have formed about two thirds of the refugees crossing to Greece from Turkey this year. But they are now only a tiny proportion of those leaving Libya for Italy, even though they were also the majority along that route in 2015. Despite this, the number of refugees leaving Libya remains at the same record levels as last year – indicating that solving the Syrian crisis will not stop migration to Europe more generally, since there are many other nationalities on the move because of US-led wars and aggression.

While Syria remains locked in America’s war of aggression, people smugglers will be able to work with impunity along its coasts and borders – allowing desperate refugees fleeing war, terrorism, and poverty to reach the Mediterranean in record numbers. Ending the regime-change war and supporting the central government in Damascus, which effectively fights against foreign-backed terrorist groups nationwide, would help to end the violence and the refugee crisis – if not the desperation of its people.
Even if the Syrian war ended, the reasons many people flee other countries would remain. Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan are three of the other main sources of the refugee crisis. The citizens of these countries face brutal journeys over thousands of miles to reach Europe, and many die en route. While the Trump White House considers escalating these unnecessary conflicts, they are likely to keep producing more refugees.

Experience tells us that America’s wars of aggression and deceit will always force large numbers of people to flee. The conflicts are generally escalating, so the coming weeks and months will create even more refugees than today. If some 12 million Syrian people are now living in camps or other sanctuaries, America’s escalation of the conflict, its “liberation” tactics, and its illegal bases and permanent occupation are likely to displace still more.

In the prevailing environment, it is very hard to be positive about much in the EU’s reaction to America’s ongoing butchery in Syria. EU institutions are basically unfit to respond in the way that a nation-state does, ruthlessly prioritizing the safety of its citizens and the integrity of its borders. Europe needs to quit squabbling and start talking seriously and openly about the real crisis and the humanitarian responses it demands. If America’s war on Syria does not come to an end quickly, the refugee crisis will worsen, and Europe will return to its dark, old ways.

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