Update on Syria: A Constantly Shifting Situation


Hassan Sayed ’15
The Civil War in Syria has been raging since 2011, with a United Nations estimate in June 2013 placing the number of casualties at around 100,000. However, after reports of alleged chemical weapons use by the regime of Syrian President Assad, the United States has strongly begun advocating for intervention in the Middle East to put a stop to the supposed threat.
Currently, President Obama has put the issue up to the United States Congress, which will debate intervention in the coming week. Similarly, last week, the parliament of the United Kingdom voted on whether to have Britain intervene in Syria. However, in the end, Prime Minister David Cameron’s effort to bring the UK into the Middle-Eastern nation failed.
This past week, the G-20, the council of the twenty most powerful nations in the world, also convened, with the hottest topic of discussion being intervention in Syria. Despite the fact the US President Barack Obama stated that most of the present nations were confident that chemical weapons were used by the Assad Regime a White House report stated that only 11 of the 20 nations present at the conference were actually in favor of military intervention. Furthermore, Russia, whose president Vladimir Putin is a supporter of Assad, along with China continue to block any United Nations intervention as a result of their veto powers on the security council.
The supposed chemical weapons attack reportedly took place on August 21st and is said to have killed 1,400 civilians.
However, the waters are beginning to become even murkier. High-level intelligence captured by a German newspaper has shown that it was not Assad, but the rebels who in fact launched the chemical weapons attack on the civilians. If this claim is true, this all but destroys the US’s argument to intervene against the rebels.
The world will only see what other complications emerge as the week begins. Congress is set to begin discussing Syria intervention this week.