The acts of terrorism committed by fanatics of the outlawed “Islamic State” (ISIS) in recent years have become more common and more widespread. This year alone has been marred by an ever increasing number of terrorist attacks committed in Europe: the Westminster Bridge attack of March 22, the Drottninggatan Street attack of April 7, the Champs-Elysees attack of April 20, the Moscow Metropolitan attack of April 13, the Manchester Arena attack of May 22 shortly followed by the London Bridge attack of June 3, and, finally, the EDEKA mall attack of July 28.
This wave of hate crimes has recently reached Spain, which was struck by a series of terrorist attacks last Thursday. The responsibility for these cruel attacks that claimed a total of 15 lives and left another 130 individuals wounded, was claimed by ISIS.
An example of the thousands of official letters of condolences sent from all over the world to the Spanish authorities in order to express solidarity with the people of Spain would read: “We strongly condemn this cruel and cynical crime committed against civilians. These tragic events have once again underlined the need for the entire international community to join efforts in an uncompromising struggle against the forces of terror.”
It seems that the whole world expresses its condolences in the aftermath of these brutal attacks, while demonstrating sincere support toward efforts in fighting international terrorism aimed at stopping the continuous bloodshed at the hands of extremists groups like ISIS. People gather in large numbers in mosques, synagogues and cathedrals across the world to pray for the victims and express their resilient opposition to those taking innocent souls in a bid to spread terror across the world, while demanding the harshest punishment laws can provide for the perpetrators of these attacks. International organizations, law enforcement agencies and the special services of a handful of states have recently intensified their activities and mutual cooperation, introducing additional measures to prevent new attacks from ever occurring again.
However, against the backdrop of this unanimous reaction shown by the international community, is the somewhat puzzling absence of a similar reaction regarding the routine slaughter of considerably larger numbers of innocent civilians carried out by the so-called US-led coalition across the Middle East.
For instance, just a couple of days ago, according to the Syrian news agency SANA, an international coalition led by the United States would bomb residential areas of the city of al-Raqqah, leaving a total of 78 civilians dead.
Two days prior to that, US coalition aircraft struck the village of Al-Jiza, murdering 20 civilians in broad daylight.
On August 17, at least six civilians, including three children, fell victim to US airstrikes in the province of Deir ez-Zor. Later on the same day, coalition warplanes would continue sowing deadly mayhem, killing murdering 17 more civilians, mainly women and children, in al-Raqqah.
At the end of July, the Western coalition operating illegally in Syria murdered another 30 civilians.
Mind you that those numbers represent an incomplete summary of US-led operations over the last 30 days in Syria alone, not civilian deaths in other theaters of war the US and its allies are currently engaged in.
According to the Syrian Human Rights Watch, headquartered in the UK, for the period from April 23 to May 23, 2017 alone, over 355 people fell victims of the US-led coalition. Among them, 225 civilians, including 44 children and 36 women. And if we are to take a look at the reported number of civilians who died at the hands of the US-led coalition over the last three years in Syria, we would learn that Washington is responsible for the deaths of at least 1,256 civilians.
The above mentioned figure far exceeds the loss of civilian lives inflicted by terrorists across Europe over the same period of time. However, European elected representatives prefer to ignore those facts avoiding any condemnation of Washington’s actions in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
One cannot help but question such a contradiction and the open disregard shown in the West toward the lives of third-world nationals. One must wonder why existing international law is applied differently to the perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Europe versus those who bear direct responsibility for the deaths of thousands of civilians across the Middle East?
Valeriy Kulikov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”