Society is turning it’s back on Syria when it needs it the most

Hunter Gill, Pollster

During the month of April the Syrian people have been hit with two major attacks; one a chemical weapons attack on the city of Khan Sheikhoun and the other a bombing on four buses carrying refugees escaping Syria. Over 100 people died in the bus attack alone, many of them women and children, but yet the attacks draw little outrage from the general population. Has society seriously become so used to atrocities like these that it just doesn’t care anymore, or is it the “It doesn’t affect me so I don’t care” mentality?

According to the organization “I Am Syria”, there have been 470,000 deaths as a result of the civil war with 55,000 of those deaths being children. Countless others are have either been detained or are trapped in cities that are being sieged by ISIS or the Russian backed Syrian army, loyal to brutal dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

Assad and his regime have had a history of committing war crimes against their own people. According on the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 400 kids were imprisoned and tortured in February 2012.

In addition to the torture of children, there have also been multiple chemical weapons attacks on the people of Syria, most recently the one in Khan Sheikhoun this April. While Assad and his regime have denied the attack, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that French Intelligence can prove he was behind the attack.

Despite committing atrocities against his own people, Russia still backs the Syrian government and is the reason why there has been no major intervention in Syria up to this point. Being on the United Nations Security Council, Russia has the power to veto any major intervention into Syria and few countries want to risk taking their own actions and provoking Russia.

Regardless of the threat, the world cannot sit by and let a whole group of people be wiped out without action. If nobody else will act, the United States needs to take action to protect the people of Syria and employ others to follow our lead.

Intervening in this conflict should not only be a humanitarian mission but also a military one. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) biggest source of income is selling oil and gas to Assad. In addition, Assad refuses to fight ISIS and basically ignores them. While Assad poses little threat to United States citizens at this point in time, ISIS certainly poses a threat. While defeating Assad wouldn’t wipe out ISIS totally, it would be a major blow to the terrorist organization.

While increasing military presence in the region is obviously more complicated than what has been suggested, it is imperative that we take action to protect both the people of Syria and our interests in the region. This is both a large test for President Trump and the country as a whole; how we handle this can define our country’s legacy for years to come. What side of history does the United States want to be on?