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U of R professor analyzes impact of Syria's next move

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 06:17 PM EDT

Rochester, N.Y. - A local professor says Syria's acceptance of Russia's proposal, declaring its chemical arsenal and signing the chemicals weapons convention may be a step in the right direction.

“I think it's a very positive development, University of Rochester professor of Anthropology Thomas Gibson said. “I'm quite encouraged by it and the fact that the French seem to be supporting it as well as are the Chinese.”

Gibson said, “This could be, there's potential here for a diplomatic breakthrough on a wider level.”

But Professor Gibson says if the U.S. still decides to intervene it could backfire.

Gibson says enflaming an already tense situation in certain areas near Syria, could lead to more unrest, spilling into other countries.

Overall, Gibson thinks it's encouraging that President Obama has put this matter before Congress.

U of R professor analyzes impact of Syria's next move

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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


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Should the president forgo military strikes on Syria, if Congress opposes an attack?


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28.57% YES
60.71% NO
10.71% NOT SURE

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