Syria

Posted on February 9, 2012

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In late January sporadic groups of Syrians began to chastise Bashar Assad demanding greater political freedom making Syria the newest member of the Arab Spring. The six day attack on the opposition held town of Hom has marked the bloodiest crackdown since the Syrian movement began early last year. The 137 reported opposition members that have been killed, including at least 10 children as reported by CNN, show that Bashar Assad is willing to go to any length to maintain regime power and suppress opposition, and that the odds for success in this battle for independence are long. The U.S Senate Armed Forces Committee decided today that the US will not send troops, but will discuss initiating no fly zones, providing weapons as well as creating buffer regions near Turkey that give the opposition forces a place to be trained and seek refuge. Obviously Assad must be stopped, the level of control and censorship he desires over his country isn’t acceptable, but the reality is that Syria’s military forces are far superior to the forces in Libya. Firstly they have over 645,000 troops, which is much larger than any standing European military, explaining why Europe and the US are reluctant to commit troops, but more importantly the Army is loyal to Assad. Although there is a Sunni majority in Syria most of the military is comprised of Alawites, like Assad. As they have shown in Hom the troops are extremely loyal and willing to go to great lengths to support the government. It’s apparent that the limited support we gave in Libya will not be sufficient against Assad’s forces. Opposition fighters, and protestors will continued to be slaughtered as they have over the past six days, fearing to even bury their dead during the day. The UN obviously won’t get involved because of Russia’s and China’s position on the security council as veto members so the burden will fall upon Europe and other Western Democracies to determine whether this is important enough to act.

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