JERUSALEM — There has been no comment by the Israeli government regarding reports that its military struck a missile storehouse in Syria in the early hours of Thursday. An unnamed White House official confirmed to CNN that Israel had attacked the cache at a military base near the northern Syrian port city of Latakia before dawn on Thursday. The Dubai-based Al Arabiya television network cited Lebanese sources saying Israel struck twice during the night, with a sea-launched assault aimed at the Latakia base and a second, undefined strike near Damascus.
To send arms or not to send arms? That is not the question the United States should be asking to end the tragedy unfolding in Syria. Why? Consider Reema, a 12-year-old refugees. "I was at school when it was bombed,” she said. “Some of the children were killed. We all ran away." After her school was destroyed, she fled to Lebanon with her parents and four siblings. They live in a single room in an unfinished, rubble-strewn building. Wrenched from her home and confronted by horrific acts violence, Reema is my window into Syria. Like millions of Syrian children affected by this escalating war, Reema’s future is at risk—and she is why we must demand better from our leaders.
The world may be focused on the big fight in Syria between the rebels and Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but there is a smaller, albeit just as significant, second front going on that much of the region’s leaders seem to have either ignored or forgotten.
Syria, which has been percolating in and out of public view for the last two years, exploded into full sight this past week as a result of revelations that the Assad government may have used nerve gas against rebel-controlled areas. With over 70,000 already dead -- the result of air strikes, heavy shelling of populated areas, and other deadly conventional military means, one can legitimately wonder why the possible deaths of an additional dozen or two Syrians would cause such concern in Washington.
Syrian troops shelled the flashpoint city of Homs today as opposition activists called for fresh protests, the latest test of a UN-brokered cease-fire. The violence comes soon after top diplomats from the "Friends of Syria" group met in Paris, with Hillary Clinton urging tough new sanctions.
A fragile cease-fire has taken hold in Syria, with regime forces halting widespread attacks on the opposition. There were reports of isolated gunfire and shelling, but the relative quiet represents the first brief lull in weeks of bloodshed, opposition activists said.
Today is the day that all government troops were supposed to have withdrawn from Syrian population centers.
They haven't. Activists report soldiers are still present, and firing, in Homs and other cities.