Upwards of 130,000 people have been killed during the three year conflict, many of them non-combatants. President Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against his own people and the international community continues to struggle with how to respond.
The forces fighting in Syria can hardly be divided into only two camps. The United States opposes the government of al-Assad and has considered arming the insurgents. The problem here is that many of the forces opposing al-Assad are members of splinter Al Qaeda groups and thus the United States can hardly help affiliates of those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks. Russia supports al-Assad's government claiming that he helps to fight Islamic extremism and thus needs to stay in power regardless of how he treats the civilian population.
Politics aside there is an estimated 800,000 people starving, on the verge of death in the above mentioned cities of Homs, Aleppo, and Deir Ezzor. Syria has plenty of food and resources, however these supplies are being held back by al-Assad as part of his strategy to win the war. Some have argued that the West must do more to help end the conflict, but this too becomes... complicated.
1. The United States insists on excluding Iran in the Syrian negotiations. Iran is a major ally of Syrai and al-Assad and thus Syria is unlikely to negotiate without their key ally.
2. Russia is also a major supplier for Syrian weapons because of Syria's fight against Islamic extremism. Without Russian support, intervention is Syria is unlikely.
3. Saudi Arabia and Qatar send weapons to opposition forces within Syria and as long as they do this the fighting will continue.
4. Turkey continues to allow foreign fighters into its country who then make their way across the Syrian/Turkey border to join in the conflict.
The conflict in Syria threatens the stability of the entire region, and because the United States has allies in that region, this concerns the United States.
Click Here for a short video on the realities people is Syria are facing right now.