The Current

What do Syrians think it will it take to end the country's bloody conflict?

After a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, the international community, including the Syrian Diaspora, waits and watches. We spoke to two of its members about what can be done to end the bloodshed.
A child receiving oxygen following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, Syria. This image was taken April 8, was released by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets. (Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets via AP)

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A suspected poison gas attack in Syria on Saturday has left the world wondering what can be done to end the country's seven-year conflict. 

For Syrians around the globe, it's an agonising but all-too-familiar question.

Shiyam Galyon is a member of that Diaspora. The Syrian-American writer and activist thinks intervention is necessary.

"There needs to be either a credible threat of force or a very limited, targeted use of force against Assad's airfields to force him to the negotiating table."

Galyon was born in the U.S. but much of her family still lives in Syria. She wants to see a political transition and internationally-monitored elections.

A shop owner in Windsor says his sister back home in Syria is just trying to survive. 0:34

Ammar Waqqaf, a Syrian political analyst who has been living in the U.K. for 13 years, disagreed.

He said that "the first step is for Shiyam and other Syrian activists on the other side to acknowledge that a huge segment of the Syrian people do not approve of their view of what Syria should be about."

There is an international perception "that this is about civilians versus dictator," he argued, but the conflict is actually between two halves of the Syrian population and their reaction to the Arab Spring in 2011.

"One of them rose against the government, and the other took refuge in the government, and supported it; kept it on its feet."

But Galyon countered that Waqqaf is repeating the regime's narrative, "the story that they're forcing on the world."

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this page, where you can also share this article across email, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

This segment was produced by The Current's Julie Crysler and Ines Colabrese.


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