DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem "Navy" Pillay walks to the podium before speaking to the Nations General Assembly regarding Syria February 13, 2012 at the United Nations in New York. The top UN human rights official said Monday that crimes against humanity have likely been committed in the bloody crackdown on dissidents in Syria.
The first shockwaves of North Africa's "Arab Spring" were felt in Syria 11 months ago. Activists began sporadic protests against the regime of Basher al-Assad. The Syrian Army and police responded with force. With journalists, international observers and aid workers prevented access, it has been extremely challenging to track events across the country. Human rights groups say more than 7,000 civilians have been killed since last March. From the reports getting out, the city of Homs has been the site of the worst bloodshed. In the last week alone, "hundreds have reportedly been killed," according to sources of the Associated Press.
On Friday, two suicide car bombers struck security compounds in the major industrial city of Aleppo, killing 28. State media said the bombings are proof the regime faces a campaign by terrorists, not a popular uprising. Far from it all, Syrian Americans, of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, share worries about the chaos. On Friday afternoon, a protest was organized outside of the Syrian Consulate in Newport Beach. Other Syrians here fear that opposition rule could be even worse for their country.
What are the various perspectives on a U.S. or United Nations response? Who does the opposition represent? What can stop the bloodshed?
Honey Al Sayed, Syrian Journalist. In 2011, Al Sayed was nominated to represent Syria as a participating journalist in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, funded by the U.S. Department of State; Creator & Former Host of "Good Morning Syria” for the country’s first private radio station
Nour Douchi, Political Activist
Sireen Sawaf, Attorney
Mahmoud Harmoush, Professor, California State University San Bernardino. Teaches Arabic and Humanities.