CHILDREN DYING IN SYRIA
In a recent blog, I reported evidence that confirms Iran has troops in Syria combating the uprising of local citizens. Verification came to me through a local citizen who worked with refugees fleeing the country. During the indiscriminate bombing of the town of Homs, the Local Coordination Committee stated that 45 were killed with children found among the dead. Pictures have been posted online by activitist showing the bodies of five terribly disfigured children. It would appear they were struck by weapons or sharp objects.
One of the ironies of this situation is that the wife of Bashar Assad came from Homs. Often touted as a fashion diva wearing the finest from Paris, she looks far more like a Westerner. Forget the burka that most Syrian women wear. Her city of origin did nothing to bring any mercy to the shelled city. Homs has been the hardest hit city since the violence erupted a year ago. Several areas of the city that had been controlled by the rebels have now fallen and been recovered by government troops.
The government’s response to these children’s death is to publically claim that the killings in Homs are the result of “armed terrorists” haunting the streets. The yearlong uprising against Assad is attributed to this same element. Of course, the government controlled media never reports on the true situation among the resistance.
Information has also been declared by the Britain-based group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights who claimed that “shabiha” gunmen took part in the killings. The shabiha element does the government’s biding and have played a major role in attempting to stop the uprising.
Back at the United Nations, the Secretary-General appealed to a divided Security Council, pleading for them to speak in a unified voice and call on Syria to halt the bloodshed. Both Washington and Moscow agreed fighting should stop, but differed radically on how it should occur. Moscow continued to oppose any intervention which would stop the Syrian governments continuing the killing. Outraged activists had already held a candlelight vigil outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, protesting Russia’s action during this crisis.
Even with the blood of children on their hands, the Assad govenment continues to plow ahead regardless of the cost. They seem to be unmoved by the tragic deaths.
A number of years ago, I was among the first responders when the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed in what was then the largest terrorist attack on American soil in national in our national history. I stood in the rubble while bodies were carried out and later assisted when the victims were relocated in a nearby church foyer. Among the dead were a number of children who had been playing in the building’s child care center moments before the explosion. I will never be able to remove this scene from my memory. The images continue to haunt me. Nothing conveys the horror of war like the death of a child.
Apparently, Bashar Assad isn’t move by such apparitions.
Should the deaths of children affect American response to this crisis? Can the world turn its back on the Syrian crisis?