Syrian Government Resists Reform

Matthew Cotturone, Contributing Writer

Many critical developments have occurred in the Arab world since this month began. On September 15 the newly formed Syrian Opposition Council, supported by the EU, Turkey and Libya’s National Transitional Council convened in Istanbul to represent protestors and lobby for international support. Yet, on October 4, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would place sanctions on Syria if it continued its military crackdown. The protests against President Bashar al-Assad, which have gone on for over seven months now despite a deadly military crackdown and lack of substantial international support, remain irrepressible.
On the 15 of this month, Syrian forces opened fire on mourners at three different funerals across the country, with casualties ranging from seven to 14 people, including an 11 year-old boy. That same day, a prominent Syrian human rights activist, Ziad Tawfiq al-Obeidi, was assassinated by Syrian forces while in hiding. On the 16, the Arab League held an emergency meeting to discuss what action to take in regards to Syria, which was inconclusive. On the 17, 21 civilians were killed during clashes near Homs between Syrian forces and defectors.
Last week, the UN stated that the uprising in Syria has reached the bloody milestone of 3,000 people having been killed. News generally has been sparse coming out of Syria as the government has banned all foreign journalists. When asked about whether the regime would fall in Syria, Dr. Brett Heindl, an assistant professor in the Political Science Department had this to say, “The al-Assad regime is very well-entrenched, [and] international will to bring it down has been flagging because [the NATO mission in] Libya has taken so long…” He later added that, “The fall of Syria is still a possibility, although it seems more and more remote as time goes on.”

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