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Will Syria Be Next?

Jody Aremband

Syrian President Bashar al-Asad continued his crack-down on protesters this week when forces loyal to the leader killed at least 6 civilians, including one child, after indiscriminately firing on towns during raids across the country. Dozens more were wounded and 40 individuals detained without explanation.

The five-month old uprising against the Asad regime began with sections of the population seeking only minor reforms to their government. But because of Asad’s brutal retaliation and further restriction on Syrian freedoms–such as recently banning three leading members of the opposition movement from leaving the country–the Syrian opposition now wants Asad to follow in Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s footsteps. The Asad dynasty–which includes current President Bashar’s father, Hafez–and Qaddafi’s regime have both been in power for over 40 years.

As of late, even Syria’s long standing allies are criticizing Asad and his brutal and repressive practices. After recently noting his loss of confidence in Syria, the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, went so far as to call for the end of Asad’s totalitarian regime. Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, echoed this sentiment and further said, “Demands for democracy and freedom are the people’s just demands. In today’s world, there is no place for one-man rule, for autocratic regimes and closed communities.”

Indeed. With Asad’s long-time allies now taking a stand against the tyrannical Syrian regime that does not embrace personal freedoms but rather brutalizes its own populations and governs with no regard to its citizens, it seems that Syria may be the next government toppled by a people who have had their freedoms denied for far too long.