The Syrian War is Still Happening



CC: Voice of America News: Scott Bob report from Azaz, Syria.

Rielle Jones-Teske, Staff Reporter/Photographer

Although headlines about the crisis in Syria are rare these days, the war is still a brutal reality for the civilians. Here in the United States, we have enough of our own political turmoil going on, but we mustn’t forget to be aware of the world around us and remember our duty to help in any way we can. The Syrian war has just entered its eighth year. To put that into perspective, for current high schoolers, that is half, or almost half, of our entire lifetimes. The conflict began when protests started against President Bashar Assad’s regime. In just months, after Assad sent troops to quash the revolt, a civil war was began that continues to this day. According to NPR, around 400,000 people have died and half of the population has been displaced. Civilians are forced to cram into basements, because if they go outside, they risk being killed by gunfire or bombs. The conditions they live in are extremely unsanitary, and often they are without access to plumbing or running water. Wounded roam the streets seeking shelter, while medical facilities are pelted with bombs and shells. During the past weeks, the Syrian government has been attacking suburbs around the capital with shelling and airstrikes, trying to oust the rebel forces. Syria’s state-run media reported success.

It’s been the general idea that civilians have born the brunt of the brutalities, but a detailed report released last Thursday by the Human Rights Council outlined the intense role that sexual violence has played the past seven years. “Sexual violence against females and males is used to force confessions, to extract information, as punishment, as well as to terrorize opposition communities,” reported the U.N. commission. It’s a real tragedy that the American public is generally uninformed and inactive in the face of such human rights violations.

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