Assuming the U.S. Congress authorises them, Washington (together with some allies) soon will launch military strikes against Syrian regime targets. If so, it will have taken such action for reasons largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people. The administration has cited the need to punish, deter and prevent use of chemical weapons - a defensible goal, though Syrians have suffered from far deadlier mass atrocities during the course of the conflict without this prompting much collective action in their defence. The administration also refers to the need, given President Obama’s asserted “redline” against use of chemical weapons, to protect Washington’s credibility - again an understandable objective though unlikely to resonate much with Syrians. Quite apart from talk of outrage, deterrence and restoring U.S. credibility, the priority must be the welfare of the Syrian people. Whether or not military strikes are ordered, this only can be achieved through imposition of a sustained ceasefire and widely accepted political transition.International Crisis Group (via soupsoup)
Military intervention is in the interest of the Syrian people — we need this to solve the Syrian crisis. We need direct strikes on significant regime targets such as military installations … to save civilian lives.Aleppo-based Free Syrian Army Col. Abdulbasit Sa’ad al-Dein • Expressing displeasure that no military strike will be immediately forthcoming from the United States. (As Congressional approval is needed and Congress is on recess for another week-plus, it’s gonna take some time.) Experts suggest that even if the rebels get military action from the U.S. on Syria, it may not be what they’re hoping for.
163 people killed in Syria today, according to a local activist committee. The fact that one of them was a Michigan woman has turned heads at the State Department; according to both AP and John McCain, the regime has recently gained the upper hand in the two-year-old conflict, which has claimed roughly 80,000 lives so far. source
He was given two options: to either take the office of prime minister or be killed. He had a third option in mind: to plan his own defection in order to direct a blow to the regime from within, and today, he is declaring his defection.A spokesman for Riyad Hijab, who defected today from his post as Syrian Prime Minister • Hijab, a former agricultural secretary, was named Prime Minister in June, but according to his spokesman, he’d planned his defection since before then. One thing to keep in mind: While it’s impossible to know for sure, many of these high-level Syrian defections are likely as much a result of pragmatism—that is, the recognition that the al-Assad regime will soon fall—as they are the result of moral objections to the regime’s actions. source (via • follow)
People are still in shock that this is happening — they thought it would be limited to one neighborhood, but it is growing in size to other neighborhoods. They are scared of chaos and lawlessness more than anything else.Syrian academic Fadi Salem • Discussing the fighting taking place in the city of Aleppo, one of the two main holdouts in the Syrian conflict, which has heated up in recent days. Pockets of the loosely-organized Free Syrian Army launched the attacks on both Aleppo and Damascus in in an effort to gain control over two of the oldest cities in the world — and the country’s two key power centers. Even if the rebel armies have to double back once the Syrian army comes in, they’ve made the point that no part of the country is safe.