[Episcopal News Service] Syria has for the past 11 months been embroiled in a civil conflict in which President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have responded with violence and bloodshed to protestors calling for an end to his leadership.
In recent weeks the crackdown has escalated in many of Syria’s major cities. U.N. and human rights groups have estimated that the Syrian Army has killed at least 6,000 protesters since the start of the uprising in March 2011.
China and Russia vetoed a Feb. 4 U.N. Security Council Resolution that would have called for Assad to step down. Before the vote, President Barack Obama denounced Assad’s “unspeakable assault,” demanded that he leave power immediately, and called for U.N. action against his “relentless brutality.”
The Rev. Nadim Nassar, a Syrian Anglican priest who lives in London and is a member of the Church of England, speaks with ENS about the need for dialogue between the current regime and its opponents for there to be any hope of a peaceful resolution. Nassar is director of the London-based Awareness Foundation, an ecumenical initiative founded in 2003 in response to religious conflict and violence around the world and to educate about peaceful coexistence in pluralistic societies.