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Blog 3- Syria’s Suffering: Baskin Robbins of Death

By now just about anyone who isn’t living under a rock has heard about the tragedy that is Syria. Using Human Rights Watch as our source for the first evaluation, we begin taking a closer look at events leading to the global concern for the Syrian people. Commencing with the first apparent use of chemical weapons against the population in August 2013, the Assad regime was accused of unleashing this devastation. Though vehemently denied, hundreds of people were killed in Damascus (East and SW, see map “Damascus Attack”) through Sarin gas, though Assad had been forewarned using chemical attacks was a “red line” to not be crossed according to the Obama Administration. This later became the hollow threat heard around the world. It didn’t end there, 2014-2015 saw continued chemical attacks via chlorine barrel bombs in Idlib Province. This, however, continued to be a blameless situation, whereby the regime and Russia blamed opposition forces, and the West (US, GB, FR) blamed the Assad regime. However, also in August 2015, Islamic State militants, who have been taking advantage of the Syrian instability, has also been accused of using chemical weapons by way of mustard gas as they try to advance their agenda. Naturally, this has generated casualties and caused even more to flee, which has resulted in a refugee crisis predominantly felt in Europe and Middle East.

Another direct cause in the refugee crisis is the Assad regimes known and continued ghastly murders of imprisoned detainees in Saydnaya (see map icon “Saydanya”). According to Amnesty International, Assad has this down to a science, assassinating imprisoned civilians who have opposed the regime or alleged to have opposed. Reports claim civilians are tortured, hanged, and ultimately meet their demise. A slaughterhouse, as dubbed by Amnesty International. The victims deprived food, water, and medical care are later buried in mass graves, which human rights orgs like AI deem too massive for the government to not be aware, and or directly authorizing said the atrocities. Human Rights Data Analysis Group has it tallied at “17,723 people killed in government custody between March 2011 and December 2015,” or 300 monthly.

 

Assad does not seem to be following a balanced or humane approach toward his own people, taking actions that would legitimize his government. Considering the five perspectives, the only one I could possibly imagine he is using would be Political Realist; doing anything at all cost for the sake of preserving the state. Sadly, this approach is not only alienating his regime from Western powers, but it is more importantly allowing forces like IS to deepen divisions and openly try to advance their agenda. All the while, the Syrian people are dying or fleeing; void of any other option. The Trump administration appears willing to entertain joining the table with Russia to find “common ground” but who is to know where this strange new alliance will take the Syrian people and the American military.