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Syrian crisis and its ramifications for India
Syria is under serious crisis. With the East and Russia on opposing sides, any brinkmanship failure would be catsatrophic. India would be adversely impacted due to the oil crisis, exodus of millions of workers and cascading ramifications in Afghanistan.

US-led forces including France and Britain carried out missile attacks on Syrian territory alleging the existence of chemical research/storage and weapons manufacturing facilities. Potentially a very complex and dangerous situation could flow if opposing forces cross red lines.

Syria is a Shia state with Iran and Iraq supporting it on religious lines and has military backing of Russia. Lined up against in addition to US-led coalition forces are the Saudis.

Russia has deployed weapons in Syria including the deadly anti-aircraft system capable of shooting incoming missiles and supposedly best available in the world as of date. Russia will stand with Syria as its credibility would be at stake should it back down or Syrians face defeat. President Putin will not accept and will positively up the ante as worst case scenario.

Iran has reasonable quality forces and high quality terrorist organisation called Hezbollah operating from Lebanon targetting Israel periodically.

Saudis are improving relations with Israel as well opening country to transformation from freedom strangulation and ancient Wahhabi culture.

Should Hezbollah target Israel, then the situation becomes extremely complex. Complete Middle East including powerful militias being unleashed, would, in worst case scenario, set the stage of dreaded clash of civilisation theory or next big war engulfing one and all. With oil production under threat it will lead to economic catastrophe for all economies of the world.

US and the Western powers do not wish use of chemical gases on own populace, hostile to President Asad of Syria but supported by the West. The United States has minimal credibility over its claims of Syria using chemical weapons. It claimed it had evidence against Saddam Hussein whilst attacking Iraq but it was never proven though Saddam was toppled leading to chaos in Iraq and rise of most dreaded terrorist organisation ISIS. Prez Trump, Prez Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May are facing severe crisis on domestic front and this being a ploy to divert attention is not ruled out.

Western alliance has fortunately targetted only chemical weapons associated facilities through precision weapons thereby minimising collateral damage. It ensures situation is not aggravated wherein Russia is forced to get involved which could be extremely dangerous. Russia too would like and ensure Syrian regime led by President Asad survives and Western supported forces don't become excessively powerful. Thus a stalemate suits all.

India has friendly relations with all and has reasons for seeking a peaceful region especially because of our dependence on oil and huge Indian populace working there. Neutral stand is the only option. India's relations with all countries are very friendly so it should be behind the scene and play as a moderator to prevent escalation.

With Pakistan already moving into Chinese cradle, US would have antagonised all neighbouring states capable of ensuring a stable Afghanistan. That in all probability may not happen. Antagonised neighbours would like US to get stuck in Afghanistan quagmire and suffer humiliation before pulling out as it happened in Vietnam. Unstable Afghanistan would be bad for India and its policy of cutting Pakistan to size by using Chahbar to access CAR and Afghanistan.

Any setback for US in Afghanistan would help China to move in and occupy the vacuum much to the disadvantage of India and rest of the world.

It's very complex situation in Syria with potential of going out of control with disastrous ramifications. One hopes President Trump can control the situation through visionary statesmanship. Should he fail, US will suffer huge embarrassments in the Middle East and Afghanistan. India has big stakes but little influence and not in a position to take sides. Our interest lies in reasonably stable region.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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