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Syrian Oppression

August 30, 2012 by  


By TMO Staff Writer

2012-08-29T152951Z_190966815_GM1E88T1T1J01_RTRMADP_3_SYRIA-CRISIS

Syrian refugee girl smiles at the camera as she stands near her parents’ tent at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria August 29, 2012. The Al Zaatri camp is one of many set up along the 53 mile border between Jordan and Syria.   

REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

According to the UN, the Syrian revolution has now claimed 18,000 lives.  Daily, reports surface of hundreds of people losing their lives.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 100 people were killed Wednesday.

Turkey now hosts about 80,000 displaced refugees who have fled the fighting, with more refugees arriving sometimes 5,000 in one day over the recent past; and Turkey has urged the UN to establish protection zones inside Syria for the refugees who now are forced to try to move across its borders.

“We expect the United Nations to engage on the topic of protecting refugees inside Syria and if possible sheltering them in camps there,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
France has echoed Turkey’s call for a safe zone inside Syria.

The UNHCR estimates that up to 200,000 people could settle in Turkey if the conflict worsens.

Assad meanwhile recalcitrantly blames Turkey for the bloodshed, saying “talk about a buffer zone is not practical,” and alluding to the hostility of the nations around Syria.

In fact, Syria’s once stable relations with the world’s nations have been destroyed by the very violence Assad has used to attempt to purge his own citizens. Other than the three nations that are protecting their political interests by propping up the Syrian regime, namely Iran, Russia, and China, the Syrian regime’s friends are now few and far between.

Reuters reports that the aerial bombardment by Assad’s forces have continued apace, with Syrian air and ground bombardment killing at least 27 people in eastern neighborhoods of Damascus Wednesday.

Reports consistently surface, reported by activists, of government soldiers entering districts after shelling and air strikes, and carrying out summary executions before withdrawing.

Syria is a nation that has been drastically affected by this tragic crisis.  A nation of only 25 million, UN agencies report 10 percent of the population, 2.5 million, are in need of help, and approximately 1 million have been displaced from their homes.

Unfortunately the very organic nature of the nearly universal and spontaneous popular opposition to the Assad regime has led to a lack of genuine cohesion among the opposition groups.

Basma Kodmani, a prominent figure who left the Syrian National Council, citing divisions within the SNC which is in fact one of several opposition bodies.

Reports from even the provincial areas of Syria away from the most intense conflict are that food has grown more scarce.

“You used to eat fruit daily, now it’s every two days.  Consumption of goods has in general gone down… If you used to buy a kilo of meat every week now you buy half a kilo,” said Taher al-Guraibi, a former housing contractor who returned to his family’s home town of Binish in the countryside after fleeing the Salaheddine area of Aleppo.

The price of lamb has doubled over the past year.

In a tacit agreement with the government, Reuters reports, rebels have not sought to take control of 36 state-owned silos spread across the country that remain in government hands.  State bakeries remain open even in rebel-held areas and officials claim at least that no village in Syria has been deprived of bread.

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