August turned out to be the deadliest month of the Syrian uprising. More than 5,000 people were killed in the vicious fighting during the month of August. Roughly 1,600 were killed last week. Those totals mark the highest figures in the 17 month long conflict. There appears to be no end in sight for this brutal civil war.
The conflict in Syria began during the Arab Spring, when citizens across the middle east began to turn against their oppressive governments. Protests led to the ouster of long time regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Protests turned violent in Libya when the regime refused to step down. The government was eventually overthrown with the help of NATO. Thus far the Syrian opposition has not received the same type of support.
President Bashar al-Assad has recently turned his country’s air power against the resistance. This devastating tactic has led to the increase in deaths over the past few weeks. Most of the victims were innocent civilians, with activist groups putting the total at 4,000 innocents killed last month out of 5,000 total.
International intervention has been slowed by resistance from China and Russia on the matter at the UN. Within the region, Iran has been bolstering Syria, its lone ally in the region. The rest of the nations across the globe have shown little interest in stopping this instance of war crimes.
At the Republican National Convention, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called upon the US to do more to stop nations like Syria and Iran. Republicans hammered President Obama for his inaction on the matter, and for not helping dissidents in Iran when they rose up against their government a few years back. It should be noted that Republicans also criticized the president for his actions in support of Libyan rebels last year.
At some point the international community will not be able to ignore the dire situation in Syria any longer. The question is, how many civilians will be killed before that time comes? Estimates put the total number of deaths since the conflict began around 25,000. Far fewer were killed in Libya when action was taken there. The situation demands justice.