With the gradual calming of the Arab Spring the Syrian Revolution has erupted. On March 15th 2011, a protest emerged in the rural city of Daraa. Unarmed Syrians gathered to oppose the imprisonment of a group of young boys who had written an anti-regime slogan on the wall of their school. The opposition soon spread and the country was swept into a wave of chaos, thus the revolution began. Over twenty months later, the conflict remains with violent violations of human rights becoming all too common.
Bashar Al-Assad succeeds his father, Hafez Al-Assad, as Syria’s current president. For over 40 years, the Assad family has ruled Syria. This is not the first revolution condemning their rule. In 1982, the Hama Massacre occurred, where thousands of people united in Hama to oppose President Hafez. The city was besieged for a month and was bombarded with shelling and tank fire. The Guardian reports that approximately 25 – 40 thousand citizens were killed.
Last month, the UN stated that the overall death toll in Syria has exceeded 60 thousand. This is still increasing due to a daily routine of shelling, small-scale massacres and sniper attacks. The number of refugees is approximately 700 thousand as families are constantly attempting to leave the country and take solace in surrounding countries such as Turkey and Jordan. The brutal attacks on human rights appear in the forms of torture, assaults, random shelling on citizens and cities and unfair detainment. The Syrian Research and Communications Centre released that just this week, over 600 people have died in Syria due to the violence.
“The problems in Syria must be solved internally. Foreign intervention would mean infringing on the nation’s sovereignty ”
Delegate of Russia
Supplies run low across Syria, especially in the cities that are under siege. Many provinces like Homs are suffering as food, water and, most importantly, medical aid are very limited. Many die of starvation or disease. The heavy shelling causes countless horrific injuries that cannot be attended to properly. Foreign countries such as Qatar are working with the Red Cross to distribute medical necessities to the Syrian people.
“ In addition to the UN mis- sion in Syria, foreign mili- tary intervention is required to help solve the issues ”
Delegate of the United States
The question of whether to accept foreign intervention as a solution remains an issue. !e delegate of Russia states: “The problems in Syria must be solved internally. Foreign intervention would mean infringing on the nation’s sovereignty.” The delegate of the U.S, on the other hand, had a different opinion: “The U.S. believes that in addition to the UN mission in Syria, foreign military intervention is required to help solve the issues.”
The situation in Syria is worsening. Victims are piling up. There is fear of chemical weapons being used and the rise of extremists.
Is it about time the President left the building?
By: Tala Ezedien
Photo By: Maryam Al-Muhanadi