As days go by we wonder if the Syrian war is coming to an end. But day by day more is being revealed, such as the devastation of great and ancient cities and loss of human and material resources. We discover that the war is not only being fought by Syrians but non-Syrians too, some alongside government soldiers and others alongside rebel soldiers. I do not see any reason why they should. I also wonder if those who fight alongside rebel soldiers received proper military training to engage in such a conflict.

Iranian soldiers fighting in Syria

Reports from TIME show that there is video evidence that Iranian soldiers are fighting alongside the Syrian army. This reported by TIME goes to confirm the earlier assertion that all that is happening in Syria is a war that is not necessary. The demands of the Syrian rebels seem to be unreasonable and unattainable. Their holding on to this would only prolong the war and result in further destruction of their country. This is because Iran would not stop arming and fighting alongside the Syrian army.

Young British Muslims are also travelling to Syria without government approval to engage in the civil war. These young British Muslims who go to Syria have no justification to engage themselves in such practice. Whoever is indoctrinating them to do so is not doing them a good turn and they must not be considered martyrs. Speaking of the fallen as martyrs encourages others to follow the same line of action making believe that they would be martyred if they died fighting in Syria or any such war. As much as possible the government should dissuade and plan a programme that would deter these young ones from thinking of going to war either in Syria or any other part of the world while believing that they would be martyred. Once they go to any such war there is the likelihood of their being radicalised.

Effects of the war on children

The children in the war-affected areas of Syria are traumatised and isolated. They are also suffering in ways that prevents them from going to school; most of the time they are found in the streets begging. Their hopes for the future are lost. They seem to be living one day at a time. They become so used to the effects of the war that they know what to do at the sound of gun fire or mortar or even a bomb. You see them dive and take cover as if trained to do so. This is losing a generation. Worst still, these children may have lost one or both of their parents or lost a relative during the uprising. No one can predict what the long-term effects will be on them.

Ceasefire and return to Homs

‘They were asking for freedom now we are asking for food’, these were the words of a woman returning to Homs after the ceasefire. She blamed the rebels who started the uprising. She asked the TIME journalist who met her at Homs to take photographs and show the world what Homs, once a bustling city, has become. This is the effect of war. The mid-rise buildings have been lowered and flattened by bombs, mortar or whatever war implement may have been used during the uprising. Homs had been home for over a million Syrians and was an ancient bustling city. Now it is difficult to find anything good out of it. To those who are thinking of starting a war this is what the end result will be. Insurance does not cover damage caused by war so to rebuild will be the responsibility of the owners and where will the money come from.

What would it have taken to settle matters peacefully?

No one can be certain how a war will end. That being the case it is best to seek a peaceful solution to any disagreement or problem. The photographer Yuri Kozyrev of TIME who was taking these photographs said that he had covered wars for decades even that of Chechnya which was especially brutal, but he had never come across such a level of destruction as in Homs. According to TIME he said that what he saw in Homs was worse than that of Grozny.

He described what he saw as a ‘post-apocalyptic landscape, broken teacups and eyeglasses crunching under our feet.’ This is for those who survived. There are also those who survived only to be maimed or permanently disabled. This is the result when a nation of people who do not know the effects of war take up arms hopping that it will be a one-day affair or an easy walkover. One of those interviewed by TIME reporter on whether he intends to return to Homs to resettle said he could not imagine the level of destruction he saw. He was of the opinion that rebuilding of Homs will not happen in his life time. This should serve as a lesson to others who have not experienced such devastation and are looking forward to starting an uprising.

Another rising group ‘Salafis’

Another group according to TIME to watch out for is the Salafis. Based on reports they have been responsible for some uprisings in the Middle East. This group is growing and could as it gains strength and numbers become a serious threat. We must therefore try to curb its growth while it is still possible just as we would to the egg of a serpent.

For those British citizens who are looking to go to war in Syria or any other part of the Middle East or Kenya be warned, war does not bring good results but rather a ‘post-apocalyptic ending’ and it certainly does not make one a martyr.

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