Paris: How should Canada respond to the rising violence in Syria?

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27 February, 2012
By: Erna Paris
Award-winning author, journalist, and historian

Canada has joined the call for humanitarian breaks to enable the delivery of food, medicine, and the evacuation of the wounded, but this response seems inadequate. We should be encouraging the Syrian opposition forces to unite: a necessary prerequisite to any international decision to provide arms (unfortunately, an R2P intervention is unlikely). Second, civil war in Syria along sectarian lines is in no one’s long-term interests, including those of Russia and China. The ‘end is nigh’ for the Assad regime and those now providing the arms that kill civilians will eventually pay for their support. Canada could press this point without necessarily jeopardizing its relations with these countries. Even without a UNSC resolution, the UN has accused Syria of crimes against humanity and identified those who should be tried at the ICC. Canada should openly support this recent move.

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