International Affairs: #9 Syria

The prime minister of Qatar has stood alone so far on the world stage in formally accusing Syria of genocide, telling Al-Jazeera that President Bashar Assad's regime is waging a "war of extermination" against its own people.

More than 35,000 Syrians have been killed since the crisis began in 2011, according to estimates, about 1,000 more than the total number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. The violence unfolded in March 2011 after a group of schoolchildren were arrested and tortured for taking up the refrain of the Arab Spring, calling for an end to Syria's repressive regime. Yet Assad remains in power and largely unchallenged, though the White House has called for him to be removed.

"We're disgusted by what we see happening," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in June. "The regime-sponsored violence ... is simply unconscionable. Assad has doubled down on his brutality and duplicity, and Syria will not, cannot be peaceful, stable, or certainly democratic until Assad goes."

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