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Reply #2: The people of Homs have a good reason to be afraid. [View All]

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Little Tich Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:09 AM
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2. The people of Homs have a good reason to be afraid.
Assad will not hesitate to use violence against his own people, and a massacre with hundreds or thousands of dead would show the opposition that resistance is futile. The opposition is not very unified, some groups are coordinated by the Syrian National Council (SNC) in Turkey, while other groups are united in the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change, which is based in Syria. A massacre could break up the cooperation between the different opposition groups, making things easier for Assad.

Unfortunately, the opposition can't expect much help from outside Syria. It's not because nobody cares,it's because an intervention would not be easy. The country is difficult to cross, with mountain ranges and rugged terrain. Maybe Turkey could do more than just providing a haven for refugees and armed opposition groups, and maybe NATO could provide a no fly zone over areas of Syria, but it would still be up to the Syrians to fight Assad. The only thing that could turn the tables would be to arm the opposition, which is morally a difficult choice, as it would lead to an escalation.

Russia has decided to throw a monkey wrench into the works by deciding to staunchly support Assad to the end. Putin & co will deliver weapons to Assad in order to prop him up, and resist sanctions against Syria. Even though Syria is one of Russia's best arms buyers, and also home to the only Russian naval base in the Med, the decision to back up Assad is morally repugnant, and will make Russia partly responsible for any bloodshed.

This is not going to end well, and what happened in Libya will be a picnic compared to Syria. Potentially, there could be thousands more of casualties, the war could spread into Lebanon or other countries nearby, and it could take years before the conflict is over.
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