The situation in Syria has been terrifying for years, but the world has been turning a deaf ear. And, despite the horror of it all, I kinda understand why. It's an all-out civil war in the country, and trying to sort through the different factions vying for power is no easy chore. There's the Syrian government in alliance with Russia and Iran and supported by China and Iraq. There's anti-government forces supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Then there's the Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava) which is supported by the USA, the UK, France, Australia, and many of their allies.
Not to mention, surprise, there's also ISIL.
And that's not all. There are other groups and alliances stirring the pot as well. Which may sound odd considering the country is quickly becoming a massive wasteland of ruin and despair, but this brings us to the question of why Syria is such a complicated mess.
My guess is that oil has a lot to do with it.
Which should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody because oil is responsible for fucking up a lot of things in this part of the world. Admittedly this is a grossly simplistic summation of all that's going on... there are religious conflicts, territorial conflicts, historical conflicts, and ruling families not wanting to lose power that need to be factored into the mix... but ultimately the continuation of the war itself likely comes down to outside intervention and the quest for oil, making this a proxy fight by nations like Russia, the USA, and China over the spoils.
This is not to say that I am minimizing the religious interests of countries like Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Quatar, and Lebanon which are also in the fray... or that I am dismissing the atrocities committed by President Bashar al-Assad's government forces who slaughter the civilians who protest against them... it's more complicated than just shouting "OIL IS TO BLAME!" and I know this.
I find it impossible to believe that all countries everywhere can't agree on how best to help innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. It shouldn't matter how or why a nation supports one faction over the other. Surely we can all agree that children dying by the thousands is a horrific travesty that needs solving... independent of everything else that's going on... right?
And how could that possibly be?
I guess nobody wants to risk offending their allies in the war. Because if their allies are the faction that comes out on top... well... oil.
And so we now face the fall of Aleppo where people there are sending out their final goodbyes... not knowing if they're going to be alive in the morning...
I don't pretend to be an expert on the Middle East or the violence that is ongoing there. All I know is that what should be a no-brainer for the entire world... active relief for the civilian population of Syria... isn't happening.
In the end, isn't that all you really need to know?
Photo from Amnesty International
Sadly, there's not a lot that can be done now. But Amnesty International has set up a page for signatures to demand action, and you never know.