Beginning in March 2011, a group of protesters in the southern section of Syria sparked a nationwide opposition movement intent on removing President Bashar Al-Assad from power. The results have been largely tragic, as more than 7,500 people have been killed by Assad’s repressive and brutal regime; opposition fighters, restive towns, and even journalists have been targeted victims of an administration clinging desperately to power. Numerous countries and organizations have condemned Assad and his government, pressuring him to peacefully step down and put an end to violence; unfortunately, Assad has yet to show any signs of complying. Much of the recent Syria coverage has circled around the debate of whether foreign countries should directly intervene or at least provide arms for a severely undermanned opposition force. A separate yet crucial issue does not receive as much press: the humanitarian needs of Syrians embroiled in a war-torn nation.
In a conflict that is so violent and deadly, humanitarian relief is extremely important and integral in saving lives. Leading the charge in this critical area is the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, forming a partnership in an effort to abate the humanitarian crisis in the region. The two work primarily to provide basic needs such as food and water to war ravaged areas, as well as to administer first aid to the injured. The Red Cross and Red Crescent groups have also initiated a series of daring rescue missions in areas of active fighting to rescue civilians and journalists. Continue reading