At least 65 bodies, most with their hands tied and bullet wounds to the back of the head, were found on a river bank in the city of Aleppo, the latest atrocity to be perpetrated by the Syria regime. There is no identification on the bodies, but Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the Free Syrian Army say the victims were all arrested by the Assad regime, and were all executed recently. Some had been missing for weeks, and worried relatives descended on the scene to see if their loved ones were among the dead. The bodies were found along the river Quwaiq in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city and the site of some of the worst government abuses over the last two years of fighting. Many of the corpses were hidden by the water and the rebels suspect that there may be many more still in the river and that “there must be more than 100” victims in total. Most were just teenagers.
Today’s massacre news comes to us from the “Brutal Dictator Murdering His Subjects With Impunity” Department. Dozens of young men senselessly murdered, their bodies dumped in a river in Aleppo. Suddenly, I find myself trying to square my memories of Syria in general and Aleppo in particular with the current state of affairs…and it’s not working. It’s easy to be overcome by the tragedy as I wonder how many of the people I met in Syria are still alive…or, even worse, how many might have participated in this and other massacres.
For two years now, the Syria government has brutally attacked and killed its own people in order to preserve the despotic regime of Bashir Assad. The government’s grip on power recedes with each passing day, but it retains a decided edge in firepower, particularly air power…all while the world sits on their collective thumbs. I get that America has no pressing strategic interest in Syria, and that Syria has very little oil…but if we can intervene in Iraq, Afghnistan, and Libya…. You’d think we could figure out a way to intervene and curtail the slaughter, if for no other reason than a generalized sense of humanity
If images of teenagers with bullet holes in their heads and their hands tied behind their backs in a riverbed isn’t enough to spark outrage and action from the international community, what will be?