The death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi yesterday has motivated a surge in the Syrian uprising; government forces attempted to quell the demonstrations by firing on civilians, killing 24.
Homs, host to a large majority of unrest, has been the focal point of many demonstrations.
The Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page reads, “Your turn has come Doctor,” referring to Bashar al-Assad, the president of the country since 2000.
Government security forces have responded to 2011 calls of revolution and inhumane treatment, killing more than 3,000 people, according to the United Nations.
Although al-Assad has ruled for 11 years, Syrian people consider the tyranny to date back to 1970, when al-Assad’s father Hafez al-Assad seized power using the military consolidate control.
Since then, various human rights violations have occurred under the dictatorship of al-Assad, like torture, imprisonment without cause, assassination of political challengers and silencing of those who speak out against the injustices, says Human Rights Watch.
This caused the U.S. to impose sanctions (known as the Syria Accountability Act) on the nation May 18th, 2011. The European Union and Canada had followed suit just six days later.
Syria is an important factor in Middle Eastern affairs, particularly because of their strong alliance with Iran. Together, the two countries are united against Israel and western influences like the U.S.
NATO, who supported Libya through their crisis, may not be able to lend the same assistance to Syria, due to lack of approval from the Arab League.
In addition, Russia and China, who are part of the U.N. Security Council, are opposed to any intrusion into Syrian affairs.
Now, civilians with visions for a better Syria see results in Libya and wonder if their peaceful protests will affect real change.
The Free Syrian Army- the main opposing faction of the Assad regime- has been suspected in several attacks in Homs. They are led by Riyad al-Asad, a former colonel in the Syrian Air Force.
Asad and the FSA have not called for foreign interference by NATO or any other party as yet.
“Our souls, our blood we sacrifice for you, Libya!” chanted protestors today.
Today in Qusair, a town not far from the Lebanese border, Syrian security forces closed mosques in anticipation of gatherings and protests.