Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, who inherited Syria’s presidential reigns from his father, Hafez al-Assad, who himself ruled with an iron fist, initially wavered between force and hints of reform. Ultimately, he would choose the former. I guess it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because in April, Assad would deploy the first of what would be a series of deadly crackdowns. Since then, tanks have been shelling cities and security forces have been opening fire on protestors. Moreover, Friday, a day when Muslims engage in congregational prayers, celebrate their peers and companions, and welcome in the weekend now brings with it unwelcomed guests. Convoys of cars filled with Assad’s troops shooting out their windows flood the streets and force civilians to have to walk through back alleys and side streets.
Syria’s president and his crackdown have been condemned internationally. And after months of incessant violence and imprisonment, on November 2nd the Syrian government accepted a plan fashioned by the Arab League to stop violence and convene talks with the opposition. However, in just two days after agreeing to stop the violence, Syrian forces have since killed at least 35 people and injured numerous more. The Syrian government’s commitment to the plan of stopping violence is now being questioned, as it should be.
When you look at Syria and its situation, the motto, “united we stand, divided we fall” has never been more true. There is a laundry list of issues plaguing this nation from division over where loyalties lie to the rising death toll as a result of the enforced crackdowns. But just as the wave of liberation began with Tunisia, it eventually made its way through Egypt and just recently clearing Libya, we hope that it makes an extended stop in Syria…we hope.