Syrians continue to be victimized, not only in violent clashes with the Syrian military, but also by regional and international players with various agendas.
Protests in Syria began on January 26, and a more inclusive uprising was set in motion on March 15. The initial demand was for serious political reforms, but this was eventually raised to a demand for full regime change, encompassing the unconditional departure of President Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party, which has ruled Syria for decades. Soon, there was a deadlock. The uprising failed to weaken the links between the regime, army and other security agencies. It also remained confined to areas outside the two most populated cities, Damascus, in the southwest, and Aleppo in the north.
On the other hand, protests seemed extensive and prevalent enough to reflect a real sense of outrage at government practices, which grew with the reported deaths of Syrians all over the country. Despite a relentless military crackdown, and the killing of 3,500 Syrians (according to a recent United Nations human-rights office report), the government has not been able to quell the uprising, nor to provide a convincing political initiative that could spare Syria further bloodletting.