While the states and factions fight for territory and power in the Middle East’s theatre of conflict, it is the innocent civilians including women and children who are the real victims.

In Syria unchallenged indiscriminate aerial bombardment by the Assad regime and the Russians has turned cities into ghost towns burying tens of thousands of people to their death and creating suffering for hundreds of thousands more with internal displacement with shortage of water, food and shelter. Hence the exodus as refugees to neighbouring countries and other parts of the world prevails.

The opposition factions who have been fighting the government forces and each other for territorial gains playing cat and mouse have again brought misery on the civilian population. The images of children pulled out from rubble has only created a media circus but no action to address their plight has been taken.

The US and its European allies with their tunnel vision and ever changing strategies in order to safeguard their own interests have been adding fuel to the fire and added to the misery of the Syrian population.

The sectarian opportunists and terrorists with no regard for innocent lives have exploited this chaotic situation and exported the mayhem to other parts of the world creating hate and xenophobia on a global scale.

The defenceless people of Yemen are on the other hand victims of constant aerial bombardment of their infrastructure, hospitals and schools by the Saudi led coalition with the blessing of the US, thus creating misery for the people of this impoverished country.

There have been several reports by brave Western journalists showing the world how the ordinary people both in Syria and Yemen are suffering, but these have failed to create an outcry from the international community in order to prompt their representatives in the government to address the situation.

It is our duty as individuals to be mindful of the rights, safety and security of fellow humans irrespective of nationality, religion, sect and political affiliation. Our common enemy are conflicts and wars that lead to deaths and injury, poverty, displacement and injustice.

We need to work in our individual capacity and collectively through our various institutions on political, religious, academic and through various media channels to create the awareness of the plight of fellow humans wherever they are and whoever they are.

This is the obligations of human rights for us all that we need to fulfil.

ZI Ahmad