Rebel Terrorists in Syria: As the Conflict in Syria continues to intensify the international community is in a bind with the ruthless dictator Bashir al-Assad and justifiable distrust for Syrian rebels.
Today marks day 757 for the Syria conflict and the civil war wages on. Theories of political science tell us that the international community is justified and should intervene in civil wars when there is spill-over into other countries and/or gross humanitarian violations in a country. This would make Syria and ideal candidate for international intervention with nearly 100,000 dead and millions displaced.
According to an article in Aljazeera earlier today “Syria refugees struggle outside Jordan camps,” of the nearly half a million Syrian refugees currently in Jordan, two-thirds live outside of refugee camps. The implications for this type of spillover into Jordan are staggering. For example, food and rent prices are skyrocketing in areas with refugees are present and many refugees are resorting to squatting in abandoned buildings in large groups or being homeless in the streets as most humanitarian aid is limited to the overcrowded refugee camps. These refugees have been forced out of Syria due to the gross humanitarian violations by the Syrian government that paved the roads out of Syria with blood. What is the International community waiting for?
Clearly there are justifications for intervention in Syria, but what should these interventions look like?
Just hours ago news broke out across the world that Al-Nusra—a rebel group in Syria that may or may not be directly involved in the Free Syrian army—has pledged its allegiance with al-Qaeda. According to the BBC Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for many suicide bombings and guerrilla warfare strategies. Today marks a mega-merger between Al-Nusra and al-Qaeda forming one of the largest multi-national terrorist organizations on earth.
Since this mega-merger between terrorist organizations, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been quick to distance themselves from Al-Nusra. However, the reality on the ground is that everyone is fighting to oust Bashir. As this is all rebel’s primary concern; the politics of who will control Syria after the inevitable regime collapse can be sorted out later. Now the question remains, as rebels groups are still greatly out manpowered individually by the regime, can the West really be sure the FSA is trustworthy and not partnering up with terrorists?
The US, the G8, and Syrian rebels are set to meet in London in less than two weeks on April 20th (An American Holiday), to discuss further support and the inevitable rebel plea for military aid. Our new Secretary of State John Kerry seems determined to make this a reality, but is this a good idea?
It is interesting to consider oil from this week’s reading. Whereas Saudi Arabia was able to suppress its populous during the Arab spring as author Madawi Al-Rasheed explains in our article for Friday, the fact that Syria is not a major oil exporter is important. According to Micheal Ross from Monday’s reading less oil equals more freedom so the face that the Syrian state does receive some oil revenues puts it in a political science gray area but it is definitely not effected by the ‘oil curse.’
Tomorrow there is a panel on Syria at 2 PM in UMC Center Ballroom, the topic is that a military intervention “Is a Very, Very Bad Idea.” This should be a very great conference hope to see you there!