September 6th, 2012

After 17 months of turmoil and political insurgency, Syrian president Bashar Assad is warming to foreign aid. He recently held talks with Red Cross. President Peter Maurer and is open to improving the delivering of aid to the citizens of Syria as well as resuming prison visits. This bodes well for Syrian citizens, who have been at war with each other for some time now – especially recently, as over the past few weeks, the amount of fighting has increased greatly.

Assad is reported to have said that he “welcomes the work which the Committee (ICRC) carries out on Syrian territory as long as it is carried out in an independent and neutral way.”

As the fighting has increased, nearly 100,000 Syrian citizens fled the country, according to The United Nations Refugee Agency.  The agency’s chief spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, said, “If you do the math, it’s quite an astonishing number.” Some estimates are currently at a total of 200,000 refugees fleeing from Syria and the increasingly violent uprisings.  She later added, “and it points to a significant escalation in refugee movement and people seeking asylum, and probably points to a very precarious and violent situation inside the country.” So far these words have proven true.

Over the past 17 months, what started as a small revolution that occurred from the Arab Spring soon became an all-out civil war between Assad’s men and the people of Syria who desire more political and legal rights.

The people of Syria are fleeing to neighboring Turkey, which is currently housing some 80,000 refugees. Another 8,000 are on the border or being processed by the Turkish government. If the conflict gets worse, Turkey is going to accept up to 150,000 refugees. The nation of Jordan has 77,000 refugees and is also expecting up to 150,000 total refugees. They are currently building up more camps to accommodate the influx of Syrian civilians fleeing their nation.

The fighting is spreading to Syria’s two major cities, the capital, Damascus, and the commercial hub of Aleppo. 264,000 are currently taking shelter in public buildings in Aleppo, which will create a host of problems once the war escalates severely there. The escalation will result in many people being uprooted from their homeland and forced into the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon or Iraq.