Russia’s proposal to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons without military action means that residents in Damascus can breathe a sigh of relief. But many worry this latest development merely delays the inevitable. FRANCE 24 reports from Damascus.
Ever since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allegedly unleashed chemical weapons on his own people on August 21, locals in Damascus have lived under the constant fear of being caught in the crossfire of US-led reprisals.
But Russia’s recent proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons for dismantlement has offered a potential alternative to military action that just a few days ago seemed inevitable.
And on Tuesday US President Barack Obama announced that he had asked US lawmakers to delay a vote on whether to authorise military action against Syria as the new potential for a diplomatic solution is explored.
The news has allowed the residents of mostly pro-government Damascus to breathe a collective sigh of relief as they enjoy an unexpected reprieve.
“For the last few days we've been feeling that Syria was going to be destroyed,” says Damascus resident Muslih Saleh. “Our children have been crying every day because of the situation in our country.
“Of course I was relieved because the strike seems less likely.”
US 'won't do what's best for us'
However, after two years of war, Damascus’s citizens are sceptical of the promises made by political leaders and many believe this latest development only delays the inevitable.
Among them is Nawar Awad, a Damascus resident and political analyst.
He thinks that the security and wellbeing of Syria’s citizens will have little bearing on America’s ultimate course of action.
“Their response will have nothing to do with how the initiative affects Syria but instead its implications for America's role in the world,” he says.
“That worries me, because I know what they do won't depend on what's best for me as a Syrian citizen, as they're claiming.”
Date created : 2013-09-11