News / Middle East

Syria's Uprising Enters Third Year

Syria's Uprising Enters Third Yeari
X
March 14, 2013 7:36 PM
The uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is moving into its third year, growing increasingly violent and becoming an ever bigger concern for Syria's neighbors and the world. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports.
The uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is moving into its third year, growing increasingly violent and becoming an ever bigger concern for Syria's neighbors and the world.

What began as a series of small, spirited demonstrations has turned into an unrelenting fight pitting armed rebels and jihadists against a government that analysts say seems desperate at times.

“The Assad regime continues to think that it is winning. It continues to think that it will survive. And, unless and until it can be persuaded that it faces the possibility of defeat, I’m not sure that we are going to find it willing to enter any kind of serious negotiating process,” said Middle East analyst Steven Heydemann, who works at the United States Institute of Peace.

The United Nations estimates 70,000 people have been killed. One million-plus Syrians are refugees.

The conflict threatens to widen.

Violence has been spilling over Syria's borders. There have been gun fights in Lebanon, skirmishes in Iraq and rockets falling in Turkey.

And Western officials are accusing Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon of funneling arms to the Syrian government.

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, said, “They have doubled-down. They are providing more relief, more aid to this regime.”

Shaikh said the repercussions of a budding regional war may grow, and that Syria in turmoil may make it more difficult for the West to deal with Iran as it pursues its nuclear ambitions.

And then there's Israel, which increasingly is concerned about rebel activity along the border, including the recent hostage-taking of U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan.

For now, Western powers are continuing to push for a political solution in Syria, funneling more non-lethal aid to the opposition.

Still, the special U.N. envoy has warned again that what began as a small uprising now is among the most dangerous crises in the world.

"It is either peaceful, consensual, political solution, or the situation will be similar to or even worse than Somalia," said Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N./Arab League special envoy for Syria.

Such warnings likely are of little comfort to Syrians, who are wondering if and when the violence will come to an end.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Hickman from: USA
March 14, 2013 8:33 PM
What did Jeff Seldin intend when he deployed the phrase "armed rebels and jihadists"? Surely all those Sunni Islamist jihadists who are being financed by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States are armed to the teeth. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to do what they are doing: most of the fighting to overthrow the govenment of Syria. Also, why didn't Seldin quote anyone opposed to the overthrow of that government?


by: Anonymous
March 14, 2013 6:39 PM
The International Criminal Court should of stepped in and arrested Bashar al Assad for the murder of thousands of innocent civilians long ago. It is Bashar al Assad who has killed the majority of civilians in Syria. Had the ICC intervened long ago this war would not still be happening. Bashar will never escape justice for his crimes at this point. So many innocent people he killed, and the remaining family members would like justice to be served.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid