I think it’s good to be aware of what’s happening around the world. But let’s be honest, a lot of times, I’m only skimming headlines on BBC in the morning and moving on. So when things start getting serious, I need to play catch up. Below is my understanding of the bigger picture. Linked are a few of the places I’m learning from:
History of Syria by Tsh from Simple Mom (to learn the back-story)
9 Questions About Syria by Max Fisher, The Washington Post
What’s Going on in Syria:
Basically, tens of thousands of Syrians are dying because of escalating conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels (who oppose his bloody rule). The US is talking about getting involved because Assad allegidly used chemical weapons against his own people.
How did this start?
When some teens plastered revolutionary slogans at their school in March 2011, security forces opened fire on them, killing several. That triggered nationwide protests demanding Assad’s resignation (some would say it was just a matter of time before this happened anyway, this just happened to be what started it). But instead of resigning, Assad simply responded in brute, horrific force. This boiled down over several months to a civil war.
What’s happening now?
On August 21, word got out that made people suspect chemical weapons had been released as weapons in several Damascus suburbs, killing hundreds. The US believe the Syrian government used them on their own people, and are considering US military strikes in an effort to send a message: “Don’t use chemical weapons.” Basically, chemical weapons is a really big deal because it’s so lethal and effects tons of innocent people. (It’s in the world’s best interest if we all say collectively we’re not going to use them and mean it.)
2 Million people have fled the country (around 1/2 of them are children and 1/3 under the age of 11). This isn’t just Syrians either… refugees are flocking into Northern Africa, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq in a dash to get away from the madness. That undoubtedly effects them too.
We’re talking about stuff that’s going to end up in history books down the road. It’s the kind of destruction that takes generations to heal – if the country doesn’t totally strangle itself in the process. And it makes me pray. Pray for the innocent civilians effected, pray for the governments and people clearly locked in a bloodbath, and pray for a country that is 90% Muslim, lost and certainly hurting.
This isn’t comprehensive – I know I’ve not shared 1/2 of it, and it’s probably missing a lot of important pieces, but it’s enough to get my attention – thinking about people around the world who right now need a lot of prayers. (And world governments too for the decisions they’re making about their responses right now.)
I’d love to hear where you go to for your news, any good articles on the Syrian crisis that you’ve found and any more light you can shed to my rough overview…