Syria's seven longest months
Syria's seven longest monthsWhat is the role of the international community in Syria?
The United Nations reports around 3,000 have been killed in the seven-month-long uprising against the Syrian government, with some of the most recent and heaviest fighting occurring in and around Homs.
In an attempt to pacify protesters, security forces have reportedly jailed tens of thousands of activists. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised some reforms, but demonstrations and armed clashes continue in cities around the country.
While government supporters continue to hold rallies for Assad (Wednesday’s pro-government demonstration in Aleppo boasted crowds tens of thousands strong), women and children have joined the ranks of the opposition. Those in support of Assad have warned the international community against becoming involved in what they see as an internal political conflict.
Russia and China recently vetoed a UN resolution that would have threatened sanctions against the Syrian government. The Arab League has also met to consider a freeze on Syria’s membership to the group, but instead gave Damascus 15 days to begin dialogue with the opposition.
Some Assad opponents welcome international support. The Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights has recently called on the international community to charge Assad with “crimes against humanity.”
Assad’s largest base of support comes from Syrian minorities, including the Alawites, Christians, and Sunni elites. Some support Assad’s policies because they fear the effects of a civil war or leaderless state.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Syrian-American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum, Obeida Nahas of the Syrian National Council, and journalist Nir Rosen.
What do you think about the prospect of foreign intervention in Syria? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.
These are some of the social media elements featured in this episode of The Stream.