Crisis in Syria Escalating

Viernes, 05 de Agosto de 2011 18:11 MEDIO ORIENTE Y AFRICA DEL NORTE

July 30


altNow in their fifth month of protest, Syrian citizens remain determined to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The government has passed several reforms demanded by the Syrian people but has still failed to appease protestors who continue to voice their dissatisfaction throughout the nation. Over the past few days, however, pro-Assad security forces have crack-downed on dissidents from Damascus and other areas such as Barzeh and Hasrata. On Wednesday morning, Syrian soldiers killed an estimated 20 people and arrested 300 more in Damascus alone. The government’s newfound commitment towards quelling resistance comes on the wake of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and appears to be a desperate attempt to discourage further protests.


Despite the recent repression, Syrian protesters are optimistic that the end of al-Assad’s rule is near. Protest leaders were encouraged by the West’s recently announced recognition of the Libyan rebel government in Istanbul and met this week in the Turkish metropolis as well. Also this week, Israeli President Shimon Peres called on al-Assad to step down which confirmed to Syrian protestors that they indeed have supporters in the region. Protest leaders have expressed frustration, however, with the West’s unwillingness to intervene directly on behalf of protestors in Syria. The Obama administration and several other NATO countries have denounced al-Assad but due to the ongoing operation in Libya, it remains unlikely that the West will get involved militarily. Since March, over 1,500 people have been killed in Syria, making it the second bloodiest Arab Spring uprising next to Libya.







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