A Syria-ous Problem 💣

syria rebels.jpeg

This is war
The United Nations Security Council issued a 30-day ceasefire in Syria this past week, hoping to end the civil war. However, within a few hours of the mandate, some anti-government militia forces resumed bombing Eastern Ghouta, a region with 400,000 civilians. The apparent ineffectiveness on the UN’s part has led many to question their international authority.

Back up! Say what? 
Syria has been torn apart for 7 years by a brutal civil war, with rebel forces hoping to overthrow the government. The United States has played a major role in the conflict by sending in US soldiers to help the rebel cause. Russia is on the opposite side, supporting the existing government.

Those who say there is less violence after the UN cease-fire are focusing on the long term impact. They emphasize how the two most powerful rebel groups, “Army of Islam” and “Failaq al-Rahman”, have agreed to abide by the cease-fire unless they are “forced to fire in self-defense”. Big picture, this could save hundreds of innocent civilians and kill the momentum for other rebel groups. They praise the UN for their peace negotiations and see this as an UN victory.

Those who claim there is more violence point to the numerous deaths in Eastern Ghouta, which was bombed by rebels just hours after the cease-fire. The civilians are also pessimistic about the cease-fire and don’t see any less violence. One civilian said, "We are still underground and dying", while another said, "The army has given them many truces, more than they deserve and the result was more shells.” This side berates the UN for ‘giving in’ to the demands of the rebel organizations instead of offering “a multilateral, genuine resolution”.

Is this going to stick? 
It looks like there may be a temporary reprieve for Syrian citizens, but how long will it last? The UN has issued “several failed ceasefire deals” in the past, all starting with minor decreases in rebel attacks, but ending with few real changes. The rebel groups have only agreed to the cease-fire so long as they are not threatened. All it takes is one bullet or bomb and they can begin destroying civilian-populated Ghouta again. There is a truce at the moment, but it rests on shaky ground.

Sorry, I didn't get the truce memo Billy



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