The current civil war in Syria has lasted nearly two years, forcing millions to flee as refugees and claiming the lives of thousands of Syrian citizens.
“I hear a lot of people in the American news saying, ‘We don’t want to go there, it’s Syrians killing Syrians, it’s not our business,’” said Abdulalah Alenizi, junior construction management major. “So what if you give weapons to the Syrian people, what is after that?”
Alenizi thinks the war is complicated by the infighting in rebel groups, but the Syrian government shouldn’t be allowed to commit atrocities against its own people. He thinks the American government should intervene in countries where governments are brutalizing their citizens.
“The United States calls for freedom and human rights,” Alenizi said.
Civil war came to Syria as public demonstrations swelled calling for the ousting of President Bashar Al-Assad’s government during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011. Multiple rebel factions continue to fight against government forces.
With the recent disclosure that Al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against rebel forces, international pressure has mounted to use air strikes to aid rebel efforts in the armed conflict.
President Obama recently failed to secure the backing of Britain and other major allies to move forward with airstrikes against Assad’s regime and has put forth plans allowing US airstrikes to congress for approval.
The proposed airstrikes put the U.S. at odds with Russia and its president Vladimir Putin, whose political ties to the Assad regime have made him a starch opponent of intervention by American forces.
“I want to draw your attention to one absolutely fundamental fact,” Putin said, in a recent interview with the Associated Press and Russian government censored Channel 1 television network. “In accordance with applicable international law, the authorization of the use of force against a sovereign state can only be given by the Security Council of the United Nations. Any other reasons, or methods, to justify the use of force against an independent and sovereign state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression.”
Despite evidence of chemical attacks against rebel forces in Syria, resolutions put forth in the U.N. allowing foreign military intervention in the civil war have failed so far.
Students like junior pre-med student Ahmad Almotairi think the war is complicated and has ignited many factional differences among Syrian groups that were long suppressed by the Assad family’s thirty year reign of power.
“I don’t know, it could be a good or bad thing. It could probably stop the mess that Assad has created for his own people,” Almotairi said.
Despite what the end result of American intervention in the Syrian conflict could be, Almotairi thinks the loss of human life should be taken into account.
“It’s really sad seeing dead children and women everywhere,” Almotairi said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of religion
you have or who you are, we come together to the point where we are all human.”