The conflict in Syria has continued to grow over the past 20 months, and more than 400,000 Syrian refugees have fled to nearby countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. The death toll of Syrian civilians has topped 30,000. Most of the deaths are civilian murders attributed to Bashar al-Assad’s security forces who opposed the uprisings against their regime.
The horrors, experienced since the uprisings first began in March 2011, are inconceivable for most of us, yet the reality is grim for hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Thousands of people are missing, or imprisoned by the Syrian government, facing poor conditions and torture. A few months ago, 27 torture centers run by Syrian intelligence agencies were revealed to the public, along with the methods of torture used against opponents of the regime. This is a crime against humanity.
Just last week, the Arab League called for an emergency session for its 22 member states in order to the continuing bloodshed in Syria. They voted to suspend Syria from the Arab League entirely until Syria puts into effect a peace agreement to end the violence. The league agreed to impose economic and political sanctions against Syria’s government to stand against the violence.
While strengthening the sanctions against the Syrian government may stifle some of the unrest, there is still deeply rooted tension and conflict within the country and surrounding areas that cannot be resolved easily.
Despite the countless nations who condemn the acts committed by the Syrian government, and even with peoples’ lives at stake, the UN does not have power due to Syria’s sovereignty. Regardless of power constraints, humanitarian efforts have been made by the UN. They have put forth an effort to give funds to the refugees and victims of Syria. However, it is impossible to imagine a price for the lives lost, homes and villages destroyed, civilians displaced, and the damage to refuge countries.
The question now at hand is this: what should nations around the world be doing to stop this inhumane and unjust treatment of Syrian citizens, and should there be more involvement than due to the crimes against humanity? As Americans, we go about our daily lives with great ease compared to citizens of Syria. We have no fear of being tortured for our beliefs, even if they do go against the current regime or administration. It is time that we become informed and involved.