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Two standards in the Middle East

1 min

As the international community and media denounce Israel for its war against the Hamas, little attention is paid to the tragedy unfolding in Syria.

Azaz, Syria A destroyed tank in front of a similarly ruined mosque © Mena Today 


As the international community and media denounce Israel for its war against the Hamas, little attention is paid to the tragedy unfolding in Syria.

While the UN warns of famine and some even use the term genocide, there is minimal outcry over the situation in Syria.

Over the past thirteen years, the war in Syria has claimed over 507,000 lives, according to estimates from a local NGO released on Thursday, on the eve of the conflict's 13th anniversary. This conflict, stemming from a popular uprising violently suppressed by the Assad regime since March 15, 2011, has fragmented the country and displaced millions.

What began as a domestic uprising quickly spiraled into a complex conflict with the involvement of international actors and the influx of jihadists from around the globe. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), based in the UK but with a vast network of sources within the war-torn country, reports that over 164,000 civilians, including more than 15,000 women and 25,000 children, have been killed. Additionally, the SOHR estimates that over 343,000 fighters have lost their lives, including soldiers from the regime army, pro-Iranian groups, Kurdish forces, and ISIS jihadists.

These figures represent an increase of approximately 4,000 deaths compared to March 2023, with the front lines generally stabilizing in recent years. Bashar al-Assad now controls roughly two-thirds of Syrian territory, thanks to decisive intervention from Moscow, his primary ally, Tehran, and Hezbollah. However, large swathes of the north remain beyond his control.

According to the UN, 16.7 million people in Syria require humanitarian assistance or protection. Over seven million people are internally displaced, according to the same source.

While pro-Palestinian demonstrations are a daily occurrence in New York, London, Tunis, or Paris, solidarity movements toward the Syrian population are scarce, and criticism of the Assad regime is even rarer.

This discrepancy in attention raises questions about the consistency of global concern for human rights and conflict resolution in the Middle East.

The suffering of the Syrian people deserves as much international attention and support as any other conflict in the region.

It is imperative for the international community to address the Syrian crisis with the same urgency and seriousness as it does other conflicts in the Middle East.

Failure to do so perpetuates a dangerous double standard that undermines the principles of justice and human rights.

By Bruno Finel 


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