Friday, February 24, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Today's Friday host was Piya Chattopadhyay.
Part One of The Current
It's Friday February 24th.
Foreign ministers, aid groups and members of the Syrian opposition will attend a Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis today.
As usual, the Enemies of Syria meeting convenes in Damascus.
This is The Current.
Friends of Syria meeting - Syrian activist in Homs
We started this segment with the sound of another Syrian funeral, apparently in the city of Homs. It was captured this week by a cellphone user and posted on the internet. Details are few, but the crowd calls the dead man a martyr. There have already been many funerals in Homs and there will be many more today.
The Syrian army considers Homs a hotbed of opposition to the government. The few independent reports out there suggest there's not much serious resistance. Outside of Syria, it's another story. The United Nations says the list for possible crimes against humanity prosecution goes right to the top.
Today, leaders from the U.S., Europe and the Arab League meet in Tunisia to discuss ways to further isolate Syrian President Bashir Al Assad. Assad has few friends, but the ones he has are powerful. Both Moscow and China remain opposed to foreign interference and won't be at today's meeting.
Abu Abdo is a Syrian activist living in Homs. He says the city is desperate for international intervention. Mr. Abdo has been trying to smuggle medical supplies and food into the city but says that they are now dealing with a humanitarian crisis.
Friends of Syria meeting - Fawaz Gergez, Middle East Centre
Today, the "Friends of Syria" conference is expected to demand that Damascus call off attacks on Homs and other places and allow in humanitarian aid. The government of Tunisia -- which is hosting the conference -- is expected to propose a plan calling for a peacekeeping force and for Assad's resignation.
The opposition Syrian National Council had opposed outside military intervention. But today at the meeting in Tunis, it now says the international community should arm the Free Syrian Army.
But many believe arming the opposition and military intervention by the international community may cause more problems than they solve.
Fawaz Gergez is the Director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. He was in London, England.
This half-hour segment was produced by The Current's Ellen Saenger and Josh Bloch.
Other segments from today's show: