Why the West should intervene in Syria

I believe that action should be taken to intervene in the Syrian civil war.

Intervention should be taken to help the rebel fighters in Syria, as Syria is a harsh dominant party state under the dictatorship of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. This dictatorship would not be tolerated in the western world so why should it be tolerated in the east. This has been made evident by the recent events of the Arab spring, where in Libya Colonel Gaddafi was toppled from power. This has also happened in Egypt and Tunisia, where the governments havebeen overthrown; all in the pursuit for democracy, to improve human rights and to bring about regime change. 

The UK intervened in the Libyan civil war (Operation Ellamy), as did the US (Operation Odyssey Dawn), the French (Operation Harmattan) and many other nations from around the globe under the UN’s resolution 1973. This resolution “authorised all necessary means to protect civilians”, which included measures such as setting up a ‘No-fly zone’; all in an attempt to oust the Totalitarian regime of Colonel Gaddafi. This was done by 5 of the 10 members voting in support of this at Security Council. So why can this not be done in Syria? Or even by NATO? As NATO is now an ever expanding organisation for peace promotion.

Syrian civilians have been oppressed by the dictatorship for many years. The human rights, political freedoms, cultural freedoms – such as religion, freedom of expression, and healthcare – have suffered. This has been a concern to the on looking world for a long time now. The Human Rights watch in 2009 said Syria’s poor human rights situation had “deteriorated further”. Establishments – such as the police and armed forces – arrested political activists, human rights activists, censored websites, and imposed travel bans to other countries. Syria’s multiple security agencies persist to detain people without arrest warrants. Under the al-Assad regime there have been an estimated 4,000 political prisoners imprisoned – mostly in situations of arbitrary arrests and unfair trials; if there was a trial at all.

Also it isn’t just political prisoners that are to be persecuted. It’s also different ethnicities such as the Kurds, who make up 10% of the Syrian population. They are denied citizenship and so have none of the Syrian constitution rights. The LGBT citizens of Syria are mistreated and persecuted. Article 520 of the penal code of 1949, prohibits having homosexual relations, i.e. “carnal relations against the order of nature”, and is punishable by at least three years imprisonment. The UN has condemned and deplored the government of Syria for have and enforcing such legislation upon its people. Yet the Syrian regime in stubborn to change this as the human rights of many western countries (giving LGBT equal right) conflicts with the Islamic beliefs of the traditional totalitarian regime.

The Syrian constitution allows the freedom of religion but the al-Assad regime has enforced strict sanction and restricted the religious freedom. The state is trying to impose the Islamism views onto the people of Syria where 1 in 10 Syrians are Christian.  Also the practising of belief is harshly and strictly controlled. How can the defiling of human rights and the constitutional freedoms go on in the world today? Not 700 miles away from Europe and the country that founded democracy.

Finally, intervention into the Syrian civil war would not only be a just war but as the UK is a global power it is a moral obligation to stop the bloodshed. A country to be against taking action has taken an immoral stand point. Well over 100,000 people have been killed and a further million have been displace from their homes. So intervention must be taken whether it is a no fly zone, the bombing of government forces and/or increased sanctions and arms embargos. If military forces were to be sent, Armed forces personal could be killed but it would yield results to stop even more people being killed. Many lives will be saved through intervention and a brighter, more democratic and more prosperous future for Syria shall become a reality. 

By Lewis Clark

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