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Both sides deny there’s civil war in Syria
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Question of the Day
Days later, at least 78 people were slaughtered in the village of Mazraat al Qubeir. As U.N. observers tried to verify claims that forces loyal to the Assad regime had been involved in the killings, they were shot at with small arms.
Still, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has called claims of civil war “far from reality.”
Opposition activists agree, if for very different reasons.
“What we have in Syria is war, but it is a war that is waged by the state against the civilian population,” said British-based Syrian opposition activist Abdulwahab Sayed Omar. “That, in my eyes, is not the definition of a civil war.
“It’s not sects or ethnic groups fighting against one another. It is not civilians against civilians. It is actually a very well-equipped military regime, using all of its might to unleash its wrath on the population.”
She also expressed concern about the continuing military relationship between Moscow and the Assad regime and called on Russia to “cut these military ties completely and to suspend all further support and deliveries.”
“We believe that the situation is spiraling toward civil war, and it is now time for everyone in the international community, including Russia and all [U.N.] Security Council members to speak to Assad with a unified voice and insist that the violence stop,” she said.
“It is not the only issue we disagree on, but it is one where people are being killed every single day, where violence is escalating, where the government has engaged in these brutal assaults against unarmed civilians, including children; we disagree,” she said.
Russia has resisted Western efforts to pressure Mr. Assad to stop killing rebels and step down from power, joining China in vetoing a Security Council resolution calling for the Syrian president to step down earlier this year.
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About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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