As the fighting and devastation continues in Syria many are asking when it will end. Unfortunately, this end does not seem to be possible or probable in the near future. In an interview on November 8th, Bashar al-Assad made a public threat that Western military intervention would cost, “more than the world can afford.” He also made it very clear that he would not be leaving Syria, as the West wants. What will be the breaking point in Syria? And when will it happen? These are two unanswerable but frequent questions for those directly affected and involved in the conflict and also those outside of it. It is so easy for us (Americans) to forget about the devastation and pain that the Syrian people are facing because we can avoid seeing it and because it does not affect our daily lives. These images make us face this pain head on…along with the picture, if you have time, take a look at the comments at the bottom, some are quite interesting.
While understanding the different aspects and sects involved in the conflict itself is difficult enough it is also hard for me to comprehend Assad’s intentions. Meaning, what does he really expect to happen when this conflict finally ends? Say he somehow manages to maintain power in Syria, I feel the international community, let alone the Syrian people, will not stand for that but then will another conflict erupt? As Assad, obviously not directly fighting, continues to allow his people to die he is still adamantly refusing to comply with offers from outside countries. One such offer has come from British Prime Minister, David Cameron. He has stated that if Assad wishes to leave Syria and come to Britain it could be arranged. He reasons that anything possible should be done to assist regrowth in Syria but that Assad should still be held accountable for his actions. In response to these offers, however, Assad has stated, “I am not a puppet, I was not made by the West for me to go to the West or any other country.”
Governments and their leaders, such as the U.S., Britain, and Russia will continue to be expected to intervene in the Syrian conflict but at this point it is extremely difficult to see where that entry point should be. Facing the unwavering opposition of Assad to any form of resolution or compromise only makes things that much more difficult. With no end in sight it almost feels that outside forces and aid are completely useless at this point. What more can our countries do for the innocent people caught in the crossfire? And what more can we do on an individual level to help those in need?