Syrian President Likely Behind Massacre

By Max Londberg on July 14, 2012

A massacre took 200 civilian lives on Thursday in a farming village in Syria, according to reports. The international community has condemned the violence as an attack on civilians perpetrated by President Bashar al-Assad.

This citizen journalism image shows a man reportedly injured in the wake of violence brought forth by own president, Bashar al-Assad. (Shaam News Network)

According to Voice of America, rebels called this the “worst single act of violence” since March 2011 when the nation’s civil unrest led to an uprising against Assad.

Since that time an estimated 17,000 have died. After the attack on Tremseh on Thursday, U.N. envoy Kofi Annan did not hesitate in blaming the Syrian government for breaking its peace plan it made in April.

The Syrian government called the massacre a successful military operation that targeted terrorists and not civilians in the area. (One amateur video shows a distraught man from Tremseh describing the atrocities that took place in full, graphic detail.)

Only hours after the attack, the United States accused Syrian leaders of murder. In addition, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that up to 30 members of a pro-democracy group have been murdered by the country’s army since the revolt began.

Activists around the world have called for harsh sanctions against President Assad. As a result of this massacre, it is possible that the Security Council of the U.N. will intervene. But some are worried that Russia, which has been allied with Syria since the Cold War, is blocking any intervention proposals. Russia insists that Assad is not the problem and that a resolution must come internally.

But too many innocent people have died and are yet to die to continue relying on an internal resolution. I feel that any inaction on the part of the U.N. will only lead to more civilian deaths and less hope for the future Syrian government. Whether the problem is Assad or not, he can no longer ensure the security of his people and must forfeit his power, voluntarily or otherwise.




Max is a senior journalism student at the University of Oregon. He likes books, astronomy and Kobe's footwork but loves to write. Follow him on Twitter @MaxLondberg

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