Syrian struggle escalates


Chris Popovich ‘14


The Syrian civil war has created headline news for the past couple of years, but the war has dragged on and is getting worse. The United Nations reported over 100,000 lives have been lost, according to Fox. The Syrian war started in March 2011 with small demonstrations and has continued to grow into a nationwide movement.

Syria is only one of many Middle Eastern countries that has seen both small and large demonstrations recently. The movements are called the Arab Spring. The goal of these protests in Syria was to demand the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.

In March 2011, Assad began using the Syrian army to stop the protests. Months of protesting would occur until civilians started a full rebellion, Fox said.

The conflict grew significantly when Russia and Iran joined the Syrian army against the rebels. On March 19, 2013, the Syrian government sent chemical missiles into the suburbs of Damascus. This event resulted in mass deaths including several hundred children. Both sides blamed each other for the event.

The chemical attacks continued until a deal between Russia and the United States was created on September 14, 2013, regarding eliminating the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. The United Nations will be in charge of making sure all chemical weapons are removed from Syria, but it will take a long time for this to happen, said a CNN report. Syria also signed an international treaty saying it will not use chemical weapons again.

The civil war has also created a humanitarian crisis. In September 2013, the United Nations said that there are now over two million refugees in several countries that neighbor Syria including Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. Most of the refugees were forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind. Also, many of the refugees are children and it will be difficult for them to rebuild their lives after being part of this civil war (many of these kids are now orphans).

Like other countries in the Middle East that have experienced war, many of Syria’s national treasures have been damaged or destroyed, according to CNN. With so many ancient artifacts and buildings now ruined, much of the country’s history was destroyed. Many question if the United States should get involved?

“No, Syria has many allies on their side,” said Scott Boice, history teacher.

After the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans do not want to endure another conflict. This puts more pressure on President Obama because most Americans feel like the U.S. is the police of the world and they do not want more American lives lost.

Senior Kelsey London ’14 said,” I think getting into this conflict is not a good idea.’’

The U.S. is also in debt and another conflict will only add more to the total.

According to science teacher Todd Harm, “Nations around the world should be concerned about the use of chemical weapons.”

What message is it sending to other countries who want to employ chemical weapons?

The United Nations is involved in trying to create a solution, along with Russia and the United Syria's oil industry, now in the hands of rebels, is functioning