Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Syria and its Pro Democracy Uprising

The wave of action from "Arab Spring" has continued throughout the Middle East during this past year, and perhaps nowhere has the action been more chaotic and confrontational than Syria. Here are a few recent headlines as told by

U.N.: Syria Uprising Toll Passes 7,500

Syrian forces have launched a ground attack on the embattled city of Homs today after a nearly month-long siege. The neighborhood of Baba Amr reportedly came under heavy shelling overnight before Syrian troops swept in. The latest violence comes as the United Nations now says more than 7,500 people have been killed in the Assad regime’s crackdown on the nearly year-long uprising. U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe announced the new death toll figure in comments before the U.N. Security Council.

Lynn Pascoe: "The disproportionate use of force and military aggression against civilian population by authorities has driven the largely peaceful opposition forces to resort to armed resistance. While we cannot give exact casualty figures, there are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children. The total killed so far is certainly well over 7,500 people."

13 Activists Killed Helping Evacuate British Photographer from Syria

A number of foreign journalists are said to be trapped in areas of Homs that are coming under heavy fire. On Tuesday, British photographer Paul Conroy was safely escorted to neighboring Lebanon by a group of Syrian activists. Thirteen of Conroy’s rescuers were reportedly killed in the escape. There were reports another journalist, Edith Bouvier of France, also escaped to Lebanon, but her status remains unconfirmed.

U.S. Drafts New U.N. Security Council Measure on Syria

The United States has reportedly drafted an outline for a new U.N. Security Council measure that would focus on delivering humanitarian aid to Syria. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke about the effort on Tuesday.

Jay Carney: "I think that we need to focus on those actions which have the greatest chance of success. And that includes efforts to organize humanitarian aid. It includes efforts to further isolate and pressure Assad. It includes efforts to assist the Syrian opposition to organize itself and unify and then continue to work with our allies at the highest levels to examine additional steps that might be taken."

U.N. Human Rights Chief Calls for ICC Probe of Syrian Officials

At the United Nations, Syrian diplomats walked out of a U.N. Human Rights Council session on the crisis in Syria in protest of widespread criticism. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said she would back the investigation of Syrian officials by the International Criminal Court.

Navi Pillay: "In the face of the unspeakable violations that take place every moment, I remain convinced that referring the situation of Syria to the International Criminal Court will be a step in the right direction. The international community must unite in sending a clear message to the Syrian authorities, and the Security Council must assume its responsibility to protect the population of Syria."

An interesting story, "Foreign Intervention in Syria? A Debate with Joshua Landis and Karam Nachar"

No one wants lives to be taken and humans to suffer. Will the people's voices be listened to?

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