Syria's Turning Point - was this the week that the 'protest' changed?
The final week of May is the last week the Syrian conflict could be considered as something of an offspring of the Arab Spring. What started out as a protest in Derra is now, come the Houla massacre, a whole different warring ballgame, and something the international community, not least the Arab neighbors can no longer stomach without intervention. Was this the week that a protest game became something altogether uglier? Continue reading below »
Not dissimilarly to Libya's tyranny, and escalation, the nature of the Syria protest beast spilled into something far more sinister when the country's leader staged an all-out war against his people, spawning civil divisions. In Syria, while the conflict looks to have consolidated along sectarian lines and could be termed civil war, some still see it as the war of a leader versus his own people rather than sectarian strife in and of its own inertia. And while a nation's domestic politics including civil uprising can be dismissed as that nation's own affair, a civil war or leader's brutality cannot.
Is this the week, or indeed fortnight, that all cards are on the international table for foreign intervention in Syria? While international wrangling and wrestling continues, consensus is still elusive and a gameplan for the new face of Syria has not yet been brokered by dawdling, backpedaling parties. The term tipping point was confidently deployed by the immediately analytical press. But it looks to be more like the week that the Syrian crisis wobbled and the international community tipped, faltered, and then resumed reactionary or recalcitrant positions.
With Russian and Chinese support, (who have since changed their tune) the UN Security Council last Sunday strongly condemned the Syrian government for using artillery in a massacre in the central town of Houla in which at least 108 people (a staggering portion of whom were women and children) were killed.
But Russia in a matter of days has since, along with China, vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions openly critical of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and said it was still early days to consider National Council action.
Have your say in the space below: was this the week (last week of May) that a Syrian protest became a whole new game?
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