The list of massacres orchestrated by the Assad regime, spanning generations and bloodlines, continues its gruesome march. Since 1980 in Aleppo, through the horrors of Hama and the Palmyra tragedy, this regime has adhered to an unbroken thread of brutality. And as these massacres unfolded, the international community, a supposed beacon of justice, veiled its eyes and shrouded their aftermath. Even social media platforms, led by YouTube, play their part in this macabre dance by erasing countless videos that painstakingly capture the reality of these atrocities.
The echoes of past red lines still resonate, reminding us of the United States’ hollow threats to the Bashar al-Assad regime. The rain washed away those lines, as Assad’s government callously ignored the warnings, confident in its shield—the most influential regional power, Israel. This isn’t mere analysis, but the stark reality affirmed openly by Israeli intelligence leaders and prime ministers. Even their American counterparts instructed Russia to intervene, salvaging the regime when it teetered on collapse. Back then, an Indiana University professor witnessed a meeting attended by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a general from the Iraq war. A report was presented to President Obama detailing the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s regime in Ghouta, Damascus. The report proposed enforcing a no-fly zone, akin to Libya’s situation. Despite Secretary Clinton’s support, President Obama’s rejection was a baffling twist.
Recollections resurface of the dramatics in the UK’s House of Commons, orchestrated by Prime Minister David Macron. The demand to strike the Syrian regime for a chemical massacre was diluted by the Labor Party representatives. They cited the public’s disapproval of the kingdom’s involvement in foreign wars—an argument conveniently absent during the Iraq war, where the UK aligned with Bush Jr. to attack Iraq, causing immense suffering based on fabricated intelligence.
Upon reflection, the past decade paints a picture of a criminal regime sheltered by international support. Even yesterday, Switzerland’s Public Prosecutor called on Rifaat al-Assad, the former president’s brother and the current president’s uncle, to answer for his involvement in the Hama massacres four decades ago. Oddly, his summoning today requires more than a mere subpoena—despite the evidence having been in the prosecutor’s possession for a decade.
Recalling the Syrian revolution’s early days, one can hardly find a year without a massacre etched into its memory. Over three hundred massacres have stained the Syrian revolutionary timeline, now entering its second decade. Documenting these atrocities is the Syrian Memory Foundation, led by Dr. Abdel Rahman al-Hajj and a team dedicated to preserving this tragic legacy.
Today, a new wave of revolution sweeps through Syria, as its people rise against the malignancy that external powers breathe life into. One fears the regime will once again resort to its modus operandi: murdering opponents and desecrating the land with mass graves and blood. The world order’s silence remains deafening, even as Syria’s youth, active energies, and dignity disappear. Survivors, dead, forcibly disappeared, and displaced—the remaining fragments of a people’s existence—seem trapped in a hopeless cycle.
As this revolution gathers momentum, there’s a glimmer of hope that it might puncture the regime’s armour. International decision-makers must comprehend that shielding this regime ushers in an era of darkness akin to the Middle Ages, a time we believed was behind us. The interests of the global order should dictate a halt to the continuous massacres and the revival of a chance at life for a people robbed of it for decades.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.