Striking Situation in Syria
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Chaos. Quagmire. Debacle. These words do not even begin to describe the situation in Syria. Everything that could go wrong has basically gone wrong.
It began with peaceful demonstrations for a more democratic Syria. President Bashar al-Assad responded with extreme measures and the military gunned down civilians in the street. Eventually, the protesters began fighting back, and many soldiers defected to the side of the rebels. The conflict escalated to a full blown civil war.
Both sides were accused of committing war crimes and other atrocities. The destabilization led to a massive crime wave and also left the Syrian economy in shambles. The Syrian rebels are not united. There have been multiple reports of fighting between the moderate Free Syrian Army and many radical Islamist groups.
Just when it seemed the situation could not get any worse, one of the sides committed a horrible chemical weapons attack. In response to the attack, U.S. President Barack Obama threatened to bomb suspected chemical weapons sites which would douse gas on the fires raging in Syria.
At this point, the U.S. public at large took notice of the conflict. Americans across the nation, especially those with family members in the military, collectively cringed at the thought of America entering another military conflict.
The first sign of hope in the crisis came from Russia. Yes, Russia, the same country that has essentially revoked the free speech of all non-heterosexual individuals and was America’s longtime Cold War enemy saved Obama’s bacon.
Obama said Assad had crossed a red line, so Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government brokered a deal for the removal of all chemical weapons from Syria.
The world was shocked that Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner had to be talked out of war by the former director of the KGB. Maybe they were attempting the good copbad cop routine.
On the same night, Assad’s interview aired on Fox News. The Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil had more good news regarding the Syrian Civil War. He told a reporter for the Guardian that he was ready to negotiate a cease-fire with the rebels. He believed that the conflict was at a stalemate. Jamil also commented on the catastrophic death toll and the severe damage to the Syrian economy.
These talks of cease-fire are a positive sign for Syria, but the current situation is so tense that there is no guarantee that either side will agree to the terms. In addition to this, many of the radical groups that are part of the Syrian opposition, and those in support of Assad, pose a huge threat to the stability of the country.
The infrastructure of the country has been obliterated and has created a nation ruled by anarchy. Another troubling fact is that Kurdish rebels have started an autonomous state in the northern part of Syria.
The hope of Syria lies in the U.N. and the cooperation of Syrian leaders on both sides of the conflict. That is not a comforting thought. With its threats of brute military force, the U.S. has forfeited any right to lead peace in Syria.
Could an autonomous Kurdish state result from the settlements of the civil war? Will the negotiations for a peace treaty fall through and further destabilize the country? Could this be an opportunity for greater peace in the Middle East and curb the influence of radical Islamic groups?
As with most complex situations, the possible outcomes of the Syrian civil war are intriguing, frightening and inspiring.