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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/18/11

The Syrian Peoples Rebellion, They Are On Their Own

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You have to feel for the Syrian people up against the relentless brutality of Bashar Assad.

The people continue to resist and refuse to back down against Assad's crackdown that has killed hundreds, perhaps thousands even in the face of snipers and tanks using live fire and killing scores. Their quest for freedom seems unshakeable.

In Syria the army and the security forces come mainly from the minority Shiite Alawite sect while the majority of the Syrian people are Sunni and thus the sectarian divide of the ruler and the ruled.

So when we hear of Assad and his forces firing on his "own" people the great qualifier is the people are not represented in Assad's inner circle or those in the military and security forces having allegiance to him.

We do hear reports of occasional defections from the army joining the people's protest, but even this is sketchy, hard to verify and as yet probably in no significant numbers that can be said to form a viable military opposition.

Yet as Assad cracks down harder the numbers of people in protest is expanding rather than diminishing, the people even more defiant despite the increased brutality. Meanwhile along the Syrian/ Turkish border thousands have crossed into Turkey setting up makeshift refugee camps of innocents trying to escape the onslaught.

Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of Turkey has recently condemned Assad's brutal tactics, finally voicing criticism of his former ally most probably in concern for the burgeoning humanitarian crisis on his doorstep.

Other than recent economic sanctions imposed on Assad and condemnations by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki- moon as well as calls in the West for Assad to end his brutality, the reality is there is no unanimity in the international community to intervene in Syria.

Assad knows this and seeing what has happened to his counter parts in Tunisia and Egypt (who were forced to step down as the people's protests grew and the army and the generals in those countries refused to fire against their own people) has taken the approach of his Iranian ally and cracked down even harder.

It is impossible to predict the political outcome in Syria. Assad reportedly is set to give a televised address to the Syrian people in the coming week or ten days. It seems hard to imagine at this stage of the people's rebellion whether any attempts by Assad to offer reforms of his regime will satisfy the people and quell their determination to accept anything short of his stepping down from power. The situation in Syria remains the most unpredictable of any of the recent uprisings in the Arab world.

At this point, the reluctant conclusion from here is the Syrian people are on their own. That's the unfortunate reality.          


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