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Battlefield Syria - Who should be supported?

November 20, 2012
tags:#Alawites, #Bashar al-Assad, #International Criminal Court, #NATO, #Syria, #Syrian Rebels
by:Jonathan Lutes
Op-Ed contributor Simon Adams quotes the ominous words of former U.S. diplomat Peter W . Galbraith: “The next genocide in the world will likely be against the Alawites in Syria.”

Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government is dominated by minority Alawites. As Assad has responded to Arab Spring protests with crimes against humanity, non-Alawites are retaliating with violence targeting Alawites, regardless of their complicity with or feelings about the government. Adams is advocating that funding for the Syrian rebels be contingent upon their following humanitarian law, and also that outside governments hold all parties accountable at the International Criminal Court, which requires the allocation of funds for U.N. monitors.

Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof takes it a bit further in calling for direct U.S. involvement to support the rebels. Although not advocating for foreign troops in Syria, he feels a NATO-enforced no-fly zone should be provided to minimize the gross advantage that government troops maintain over the rebels; arms transfers should be facilitated and intelligence and training provided – with no strings attached. Anything short of additional ground troops should be employed to hasten the end of fighting, at any cost.

In the mean time, donations to the UNHCR can alleviate some of the suffering for those who have fled from either side of the violence.

Article written by:
Jonathan Lutes