The Syrian conflict recently turned three years old. The anniversary has been marked around the world with #StandwithSyria gatherings and candlelight vigils. The anniversary has been marked in Syria with continued genocide against the civilian population by the military of Bashar Al-Asaad. The conflict in Syria is one in which the numbers speak for themselves.
- 9.3 million people displaced from their homes
- 500,000 at risk of starving to death
- 140,000 people killed
- 50% reduction in economic output
When did the conflict begin? March 6th, 2011.
How did this situation start? The government/military opened fire on peaceful protestors. It is as if Obama/Bloomberg sent the army into Occupy Wall Street with shoot to kill orders.
What caused the protests in the first place? A gathering protesting the release of political prisoners in Deraa, Syria. Military/security personnel opened fire and killed 15 people. Both the protesting and the executing of civilian, peaceful protesters continued to escalate.
Where is the conflict at now? Civil war with each sides allies propping up each side with military and economic aide. Asaad’s allies are Iran and Russia. The resistance’s allies would be the US and EU.
Why hasn’t the US, EU, or UN intervened directly? That is the big question. There is no answer that doesn’t involve bias, cynicism, skepticism, or posturing. With those numbers it is hard to fathom the some western power getting in there. The closest any western power has gotten is the US threatening to go in if Asaad didn’t turn over all of his chemical weapons. He presently is, so the US has stayed on the sidelines. Reasons commonly cited are a lack of oil, direct US interests, threat of a proxy war with Russia and/or Iran, and the vast size of the country making a ground war even more of a rabbit hole than Iraq or Afghanistan.
I am for a military intervention for the first time in my life. I really do believe that with those numbers the US should send in troops. Just my opinion, I wouldn’t argue it. I just know that we have gone in other places for far less. I read a news story about Syria usually every day. Because every day there is something just gut wrenching to report. There have been multiple chemical weapon attacks against civilians, though the US will only acknowledge one. Those numbers at the very least grab anyone’s attention more often than not followed by sympathy for those in the trenches.
Syria is one of the few news events in my lifetime that always makes me stop and think whenever I see something about it. Something like that going on in the world I live in at the same time as social media and Starbucks. Bosnia, Iraq, 9/11, Obama becoming president…none of those grabbed my attention as much as the first time I heard about it three years later. Syria does, I’m not sure why. I’ll still pay attention and try to help in the little way(s) I can, and I hope you will too.