U.N. Discussing Increased Violence in Syria
As violence increases in Syria, the U.N. Security Council is discussing possible solutions to the problem. This is not new territory for the U.N., and dependent on the decision of the Security Council that is meeting again today, it could result in yet another armed conflict for member nations like the U.S. to manage.
Currently, western media outlets have been excluded from direct coverage of events on the ground in Syria, and reports are primarily trickling in from various human rights organizations in that nation. While U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement that "President Assad has lost all sense of humanity," there are some nations that are uncertain about further international involvement in Syria's unrest. Notably, China and Russia are of the opinion that increased western involvement would only serve to destabilize that nation even more.
But human rights activists continue their calls for independent investigations by U.N. fact-finding missions. Given the tenor of the current situation, it is unlikely that President Bashar Assad will permit such an undertaking. While activists in and outside of Syria are stating that the current spate of violence has been initiated by Assad's police and military on the ground, the state has maintained that it is the fault of armed marauders.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Assad's media arm, reports that the recent attacks in Hama that are the most recent cause of Western ire toward the regime were initiated by "armed groups" committing terrorist acts against state officials. SANA also reported a call from military leaders that citizens should disregard the claims of "terrorists" in Hama and Deir Ezzor about the Army.
The fact that the Assad regime is theoretically playing like in the "Wizard of Oz" - "don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain" - with pleas to the citizens at-large that they ignore the claims of protesters could be yet another sign that the regime is falling apart more each day. The contentions of China and Russia that involvement by other nations at this juncture may only serve to destabilize the situation on the ground even more may be accurate. Assad and his regime are losing credibility and support on the ground, and while there are atrocities being committed practically daily against Syrian citizens, it is more likely that there would be greater numbers of civilian casualties if there were U.N. missions of any kind on the ground there. If Assad truly has lost his humanity as the U.N. Secretary-General stated, U.N. intervention of any kind is unlikely to prevent further violence against citizens. Financial and foreign travel sanctions against Assad regime members should remain the primary method for the U.N. to deal with this issue - for now. Anything more will probably instigate further brutal retaliations by the Assad regime against the Syrian citizens.