The Ongoing Crisis in Syria is Stunning

People have been predicting the fall of the Assad regime for months now.  Recently, there has been some cross border shelling between Turkey and Syria.  People expected the United States to take a role in this conflict.  I am glad that our support for the rebels has not been overt.  We cannot solve the tribulations that affect other countries when we have issues here.  The stories that trickle out of the country are horrible.  In a highly controlled media, I can imagine that the reality of life in Syria is much worse.

The conflict has dragged on for 19 months now.  It is estimated that almost 20,000 Syrians have died as a result.  Many Syrians have been able to seek asylum in Turkey.  There have been many more who never made it out of the country as they were killed at border crossings.  It will not be a perfect society if and when the fighting ceases.  As reflected in the recent trouble in Lybia, memories of past transgressions, real or perceived, affect how citizens look at leaders for generations.  I cannot see how Presidet Assad will rule over his country once the fighting stops.

I have to wonder about the effects of continued civil war on the citizens of Syria.  There are refugees spread out in countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.  Many of these countries experienced upheavals during the Arab spring.  Iraq is still beset by suicide bombings and a leadership vacuum in the absence of Saddam Hussein.  We lost many young lives in Iraq and the situation has not improved.
Are the rebels in Syria seeking a seat at the government table or a total overthrow of the Assad regime?  I will keep an eye on the outcome.

The escalation in tensions with Turkey cannot be good for Syria.  At the same time that it is enmeshed in a civil war, it will be difficult to rile a neighbor that won't hesitate to defend itself against attacks.  It is hard for an American to understand the tension that simmers between Alawites and Sunnis.  Our tattered racial relations here might be comparable.  The religious and tribal divides go back centuries in the Middle Eastern countries.   It was recently recounted that arms from Saudi Arabia could be involved in the conflict.  Who knows where the Russians or Chinese stand on this conflict.  I wish the citizens of Syria a peaceful resolution in the near future.    

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