The official Chinese People's Daily warned Monday that any Western-backed military intervention in Syria would unleash even bloodier chaos, and said abandoning UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan could push Syria into the "abyss" of full-scale war, Reuters reported today.
"External forces are not qualified to meddle," the paper said. "It is easy to imagine the turmoil that would occur should Syria erupt into all-out civil war, triggering Western military intervention," said a commentary in the paper, which generally reflects Chinese government thinking.
The People's Daily said Annan's April 12 ceasefire deal remained the sole practical basis for seeking peace in Syria, where government forces have been fighting opposition groups despite the nominal ceasefire. The May 25 massacre in Houla was used by the Syrian opposition and their Anglo-Saudi backers to declare Annan's mission dead. Four days before the massacre, Syrian opposition leaders denounced the UN and Annan and called for "pulling the oxygen from the Annan mission"! The People's daily reiterated: "If this realistic path to a peaceful resolution of the Syrian issue is blocked, it is entirely likely the country will be pushed into the abyss of outright war."
As we have reported, Russia and China have effectively blocked all British-American-French demands in the UN Security Council calling for the use of force against the Syrian government.
In the meantime, Syria's neighbors, Lebanon and Iraq are witnessing renewed sectarian violence. In Lebanon, the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli has become the scene of outright civil war, between British/Saudi-backed Wahhabi militant groups (such as Hizbut-Tahrir of British agent Omar Bakri), including Syrian terrorists, and pro-Syrian groups (Syrian National Socialist party) or simply other minorities not favorable to the regime change policy and terrorism. During the weekend, 17 persons were killed and dozens injured, in clashes between these groups and also in clashes with the Lebanese army which is trying to restore control over the city and its outskirts.
In Iraq, a suicide car-bomb exploded in front of the Shia Religious Endowments and Affairs institution in Baghdad, killing 20 and seriously wounding more than a hundred others. This attack came after this institution declared the shrines of two Imams in Samarra as Shia property. These two sites themselves were subject to a massive bombing which almost destroyed them totally in 2006, sparking a wave of sectarian slaughter throughout the country. A third force is suspected to have carried out these attacks. The Sunni counterpart of the Shia Endowments's institution also announced today that its offices were attacked by mortar grenades, but no one was killed. It also posted a news item on its website today claiming that armed members of other Shia groups had attacked a Sunni mosque also in Baghdad. Although these events are not directly tied to the Syrian situation, it is well-known that the Shia-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has opposed foreign military intervention against Syria and blocked arms smuggling into the country. Sunni groups in the west of Iraq have declared their support to the Syrian rebels and have supplied arms to them.
The threat of total religious war in the whole of south-west Asia is greater than ever, and the Russia-Chinese reactions are a reflection that something really dirty is afoot.