The Speaker
Tuesday, 5 December 2023 – 02:58

Syria: The Forgotten People

NOTE: This is an opinion article – any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Speaker or any members of its team.

If you look at the headlines of the past week, what will you see? Someone complaining about Brexit, a few centimetres of snow disrupting the everyday life of a small countryside village and – more than likely – a few poorly written tweets, courtesy of President Trump. And possibly, just possibly an article about Syria that is casually swept under the carpet shortly after being reported.

The civil war in Syria started in 2011 after security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters demonstrating against the Bashar al-Assad regime. This quickly escalated into a full-scale war after deadly sarin nerve gas was used to kill hundreds of civilians in the rebel-held suburb of Damascus. In the space of 7 years, it has been estimated that 400,000 Syrians have been killed, but nobody knows the exact death toll. Is that alone not proof enough that this simply can

For starters, we just don’t talk about it.
I know that discussing war isn’t exactly suitable ‘dinner conversation’ but there has to be a reason why so many are silent when it comes to Syria. I am taking no moral high ground here by writing this article. I have also looked the other way focussing on school, work and my own personal life. Have we all just become so engulfed in our own lives that we do not pay attention to the travesties that occur to the people? People who used to go to school, go to work but now can’t because of the constant destruction of their hospitals, their schools, and their homes.

With 13 million Syrians forced to flee their home country, Britain has promised to take in 20,000 by 2020. That is less than 0.12% of London’s population* and 340,000 less than Germany’s expected intake.

The countries backing the Assad-regime, Russia, and Iraq, have faced no serious comeuppances for their involvement within the civil war and with the US appearing to lose in the battle between the Assad supporters and the Syrian Democratic Forces it seems as though they never will. While this goes on, Britain sits on its ‘liberal high horse’ not getting involved, only removing Russian diplomats from the UK once the Russian government is suspected wrongs against Britain. Other countries followed in solidarity with Britain, but where were they when the Syrian ‘rebels’ were desperately in need of a show of support, strength or solidarity?

Turning a blind eye.

*figure calculated from a 2011 census

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