The New York Times is reporting today that military aid to the Syrian opposition fighters has significantly increased in recent months, thanks in part to assistance from the C.I.A.
As the crisis in Syria deepens, President Obama has offered over $150 million in financial aid. Ahmed Shiyab, a researcher from Syrian Refugees based in Jordan and Amr Al Azm, member of the Syrian opposition and a professor at Shawnee State University, explain how the crisis is deepening.
Syrian opposition leaders have been meeting this week to tap new leadership after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pronounced the Syrian National Council a failure last month. Amr Al-Azm, member of the Syrian opposition and a professor at Shawnee State University, explains what's at stake for the opposition at this juncture.
President Obama repeated calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down yesterday and, for the first time, threatened military action against Syria if the Assad regime indicates it will use chemical weapons.
Violence is intensifying in Syria, with reports of fighter jets bombing the city of Aleppo. If these reports are confirmed, the use of jets could mark a turning point in the 17-month-long uprising.
News reports claim that British and US leaders are prepared to offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad clemency if he agrees to help push for a UN-sponsored conference on political transition in Syria. This could put an end to the violence, but would no doubt spell a bittersweet end for many Syrians who want to see al-Assad answer for his actions.
As Syrian government forces shelled rebel-held cities over the weekend, the main opposition group — the Syrian National Council — picked a new leader to make the council appear more secular, more democratic, and more appealing to religious and ethnic minorities. But Amr Al Azm, a former member of the Syrian National Council and a professor of history at Shawnee State University, feels that the decision to appoint Sieda is a compromise that benefits no one.
The massacre at Houla forced the world to remember the ongoing violence in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly killed 12,000 civilians and doesn't appear willing to stop. A coalition of opposition groups called the Syrian National Council has emerged as the best political force to fight the regime. But how effective has the Council really been?
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss a massacre that took place over the weekend in the Syrian town of Houla. The Syrian government insists that its tanks and artillery were not responsible for attacks that killed at least 90 villagers – including 32 children – but monitors who visited the village after the attacks said they found evidence that the Syrian military fired on civilians. Amr Al Azm, member of the Syrian opposition and professor of history and anthropology at Shawnee State University and Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, react to the latest news from Syria.
Tuesday marks the deadline for the Syrian government to begin drawing back troops as part of a cease-fire agreement with Syrian rebels brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. But on Sunday night, President Bashar al-Assad’s government announced new conditions for the troop pullback. Amr Al Azm is a member of the Syrian opposition and professor of history and anthropology at Shawnee State University, and Jim Muir is the Baghdad correspondent for the BBC.
Over the weekend, Friends of Syria, an organization of 60 nations created to support the Syrian opposition, gathered in Istanbul for yet another meeting on the seemingly unending revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. The meeting concluded with real results: Arab nations promised $100 million to pay the Syrian opposition fighters and the United States promised communications equipment and another $12 million in humanitarian aid. Is that enough to help the struggling opposition? Amr Al Azm, member of the Syrian opposition and professor of history and anthropology at Shawnee State University, explains.
Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would've allowed action to be taken against Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. has closed their embassy in Syria, and has begun discussing imposing sanctions. But more pressingly, unlike the intervention in Libya, there seems to be little that the international community can do to protect civilians.
Thousands of Syrian refugees spilled into Turkey as a violent government crackdown unfolded over the weekend. The crackdown was carried out by elite Syrian troops in reaction to reports of dozens of military defections in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour.