President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is being dragged over the coals in 2020 as a German court continues to expose several war crimes committed by their forces. This has solidified international opinion that Syria and its current leaders have little to no hope of rejoining the global stage as a respected government. It also shows that the civil-war conflict continues to go on with no end in site.
President al-Assad has had a hard time saving face already this year with large drug shipments stemming from his family being obtained by various external authorities. Additionally Syria has suffered the loss of several high ranking military officials after President Trump signed into law the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” (the Caesar Act) on December 20, 2019. These problems, among many others, combined with this new ongoing trial that is exposing their crimes one witness at a time is making life quite difficult for al-Assad’s regime. It all seems to foreshadow the eventual long expected crumble of his defiant empire.
Things have been a nightmare for the country as a whole for many years now. However it is the citizens themselves that have suffered the worst. Stories are now coming out about civilian detainment prison where they are tortured and abused for information regarding any ties they have to enemy factions. Mass graves have also been exposed, showing that thousands of innocent people have died in the conflict. While this has shown to be the most horrific issue Syria has faced over the past decade, it’s not the only issue they are dealing with.
Syria’s economy has also collapsed with the value of its Syrian pound plummeting as low as 3,000 to the dollar. This economic implosion combined with the severely damaged job market make it nearly impossible to live within the country for nearly all of its citizens. To make matters even worse is the drought that the country has faced which has been called the worst in Syria’s entire history. This resulted in a massive crop shortage that dealt a heavy blow to the already wounded nation.
Despite Trump’s removal of troops in the conflict, the US bounced back and has remained involved in the war. The Caesar Act mention before has many arguing that the US is doing more harm than good. The act’s sanctions and the US government’s “self-declared maximum pressure campaign” have all but crippled Syria, which was already barely clinging to life. It’s becomes painfully clear that the Trump administration, and its various political allies, care little for the country’s well being as they clamor the declare victory before their rivals; Russia and Iran. We can only pray that the devastation they cause as they mow over the country to stop al-Assad will not completely destroy it.
As the 2020 election draws near, Joe Biden hasn’t said much on the Syrian issue except that he didn’t agree with Trump’s initial decision to withdraw troops, saying that he thought it was a good idea to have them there in the ongoing war against insurgent groups like ISIS. However, in the past he was largely against US intervention, saying the last the thing that the US needed was to get involved in another middle eastern war. Having dealt with Iraq already, among other middle eastern conflicts, he simply wasn’t interested. But with the conflict still ongoing and the US playing a large role, Biden will have to face the issue sooner or later. It’s expected that he will pull the reins on the operation, but also leave troops there to help combat terrorism.