Thursday, April 11, 2013

Attacks from Above: Syrian Air Strikes

War crimes never seem to cease. In Syria, recent deliberate air strikes have been occurring, carried out by the Syrian Air Force. In a report called “Death from the Skies,” the author retells accounts of previous visits to areas where air strikes have occurred, interviewing witnesses and even victims of this human rights violation. A startling 4,300 civilians since July of 2012 have been killed when the air raids first came into existence. What deems this as such a gruesome and catastrophic human rights violation is not just the fact that innocent civilians are being killed- it’s the fact that Syrian civilians are being silenced by their own government. Human Rights Watch researcher Ole Solvang expresses that “these illegal airstrikes killed and injured many civilians… sowing a path of destruction, fear, and displacement.”

These air strikes take another form of violence, and instill much more fear in the hearts of civilians. Imagine if you will a beautiful clear blue sky, the world always in the same pace it always is- and then out of nowhere, fighter planes overhead creep from the distance, dropping deadly bombs that have no direction, only to wipe away all your friends and family. This is the image that Syrians dare not to speak, afraid that their lives will be at stake.  What is even worse is that these airstrikes deliberately targeted four bakeries where civilians were waiting in breadlines, and hit two hospitals as well. To attack them in places where they are most vulnerable, these acts of inhumane oppression must be known to a world as sheltered as ours.

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