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Crowdsourcing Syria: Voices on the Conflict

In a joint effort with the Baker Institute at Rice University, we reached a range of voices inside Syria to get a diverse set of answers on the same question. Below is an excerpt of perspectives on the conflict in their country.  .

Written by Alison Tahmizian Meuse & Dina Shahrokhi Published on Read time Approx. 3 minutes

The Question: U.S. intervention in Syria is largely off the table. Is that a good thing? What does it mean for Syria? How do you see the conflict unfolding – what’s the best hope for peace?

Amal, Homemaker, Damascus

It is good that the U.S. will not intervene. In my opinion, Syria has three kinds of problems. First, they have a local problem – a civil war between the regime and the rebels. This problem will not be solved from outside, it must be solved from within. The regime and the opposition have to come to the table and solve the issue by themselves. 

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There is also a sectarian problem in Syria, but Syria will never be divided by different religions or ethnicities because we have many different religions that have lived for a long time together. So I’m sure this [breakup of Syria] will not happen. I believe in this because the people fighting for this [division] brought their issues from outside Syria. We Syrians never used to classify people by their religion or sect.

I’m not with the regime, but I’m not against the regime. And that is like the majority of people. They want to live in a civilized democracy. But I am not against the regime fighting these rebels because we need an army to protect us, and without the president we could not have anyone to lead us against a civil war and a sectarian conflict.

I am against killing for any reason, from the regime or the opposition side. The main issue in Syria is that we do not want blood. Please, no more blood.

Massoud, Activist, Hasakeh

I do not want the arming of either party: not Assad, not the opposition. I’m for outside military intervention to eliminate the regime. Every day 100 people are killed. If weapons are sent in, tomorrow there will be 300 dead a day and the destruction will be double. If the international community pays a million for arms, they will need to pay 10 million for relief and rebuilding.

There is no future resolution for the Syrian crisis at the moment if the conditions and positions of the actors remain the same. The solution is for Bashar al-Assad to be toppled with external military intervention as happened in Libya. Then those countries can support the Syrian opposition as it puts its domestic affairs in order.

But the international community, as represented by the U.S. and Europe, does not want the conflict to end in Syria. They want to provide enough reinforcement to balance the military powers and continue the war as it is today, a drain of the Syrian people and Syrian land.

Waddah, Accountant, Damascus 

Yes it is a good thing. There is no way the U.S. will directly intervene in Syria … they paid a high price [for] intervening in Iraq and they will pay a high financial cost in Syria if they intervene.

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-7715″ alt=”BI-Wordmark-20th-web” src=”×49.png” width=”300″ height=”49″ /></a>The war will last for a long time. No party will prevail; it will be exactly like Lebanon in 1975 – 15 years of war, and at the end all parties will negotiate and eventually come up with an agreement. I don’t see a close end for the conflict.

The best hope for peace is for the regional allies of the U.S. – Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia – to stop sending weapons and men to sectarian groups and extremist groups like Jabat al-Nusra. The regime is currently secular, and I want Syria to stay that way. The economy was growing before the revolution attempt erupted, so even though the regime is not completely innocent, I think they are better than the opposition and I personally prefer the regime to remain in power.

The majority of people in Syria just want peace. They don’t care about who remains in power and who is gone.

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