Saturday, February 16, 2013

Syrian Rebels Capture Key Military Instillation near Aleppo International Airport

On Wednesday of this week, rebel forces were successful in capturing a Syrian military base in the north of the country. The resulting fighting left over 150 dead from both forces, including high-ranking officers from the Assad regime. Friday saw increased shelling and sporadic fighting near the Nayrab airbase and Aleppo International Airport from Syrian military forces. The rebels fought back with home-made rockets in preparation to defend from a Syrian counterattack of the newly-occupied military base.

This recent gain by rebel forces has shown that any sign of peace in the Syrian conflict, that has already left over 70,000 dead, seems to be far from reality. More interesting is the fact that a majority of rebel leadership isn't the slight bit interested in entering peace talks with opposing members of the Assad regime. This only serves as a pessimistic indicator, given that tentative peace is unlikely given that representatives from both sides refused to make any headway in talks in Cairo. "Bashar Assad and security leadership who are responsible for the current destruction in the country are outside political process and must be held accountable for their crimes." This coming from rebel spokesman, Mouaz al-Khatib.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government has been quick to criticize the Turkish government throughout the crisis, stating that Turkey is maintaining a training ground for both rebel fighters and terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front.

Based on what we have seen from class readings and lectures, it seems that peace in Syria is highly unlikely in the near-future. What started out as one-sided violence in the country has intensified into a full-scale civil war. Also detrimental to peace in the area, is the divided nature of the United Nation's stance towards Syria. Despite western governments condemning the actions of Assad and supporting rebel opposition, Russia has made it very clear that western intervention will only fuel the violence in Syria and lead to a higher body count.

It's hard to say what should be done to quell the violence in Syria. With a continually rising death toll and increased amount of refugees fleeing the country, the responsibility of peace may fall on the UN and more so on the United States. The U.S. and the other members of the permanent security council: China, Great Britain, and France must place more pressure on Russia to cease their support of Assad's forces. Only then will a selective security plan start to take root. 

Until then, violence will continue to rage in Syria with either an Assad military victory or rebels taking control of the country, most likely leading to another repressive regime coming into power. Neither, is in the best interest of the U.S. and the rest of the developed world.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this blog post. It seems that there are a lot barriers to peace in Syria and that peace will not come any time soon. It is sad to look at this situation pessimisticly but I would not bet that Syrian peace will come soon. I like how the author of this post used multiple sources and I believe it is true that either an Assad military victory or rebels taking control (leading to a repressive regime) are most likely.