Continued violence and bloodshed in Syria shows little sign of stopping. The brutal regime of this Middle Eastern country has continued its crackdown on apparent “opposition” groups. The number of people killed during the violence is unknown. Rebel forces estimate 9,000 people have been killed. The government is saying that 2,000 security officers were killed. Citizen journalists and opposition members have given evidence to the contrary showing the attacking has intentionally been going after innocent civilians. YouTube videos and activist accounts have shown government forces shelling buildings of civilians and attacking random people in the street.
Those in the opposition fighting against this repressive regime vow to not stop fighting unless Assad is out of power. The activist named “Danny” whose real name has been hidden because of safety concerns, told CNN ,“The fighting will not stop until Assad is stopped, or all of the activists are dead.” David Wallsh, a PhD student in International Affairs at Tufts University believes that this situation will not end soon. “The Assad regime has an overwhelming military advantage over the opposition, and neither the opposition nor the international community has figured out how to match it.” Al-Assad is a member of the minority Alawite population in Syria. Alawite is a religious outshoot of Shiite Islam. According to CNN, the government began attacking the majority Sunni antigovernment protesters.
The world cannot be silent on this issue; innocent people are dying in Syria. Aid workers cannot get through to help the hundreds of people at risk because the government is turning them away. The Assad regime is trying to hide the atrocities going on in the embroiled country from the rest of the world.
Fortunately, The U.N. Human Rights council recently condemned the crackdown. Enormous international pressure from member nations of the Arab League has been put on the government of Syria to stop the senseless violence. This has not stopped Assad, who is still ramping up attacks on his own people.
Trying a different approach, the European Union recently recognized the Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition to Assad, as the “Legitimate representative of the people.” The Syrian National Council has also begun to organize with the Free Syrian Army and has established a “Military Bureau” to coordinate with them. In order for Assad to be stopped the opposition needs organization. and strength. It has been shown that the people of Syria will not stop fighting until the Assad regime is out, and the more the government tries to stop the freedom fighters, the more they are able to recruit and gain more resources.
During the Arab spring, the dictator has not been able to defeat the fight for freedom. Conventional wisdom holds that when the people of a country fight for their rights, they will win. Dr. Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, believes it is a matter of time before Assad is out of power “Authoritarian regimes are quickly becoming extinct in the Arab world. It won’t be long before Assad’s regime is toppled and the people of Syria are free” said Patten.
Monmouth freshman Alec Stabile believes that the United States needs to intervene. “I think the United States is in a unique position where they can publicly denounce Assad and show the world that we support all people who fight oppression and authoritarianism.” Once the SNC has legitimacy, the rebels will be able to peel support away from the Assad regime.
PHOTO COURTESY of abcnews.com