UK & World News

  • 11 March 2014, 21:57

Banksy Highlights Bloody Syria Milestone

Syria's revolution and civil war passes through a grim milestone this week, the third anniversary of the start of its conflict.

What began as demonstrations in Damascus on March 15th 2011, turned violent as BasharalAssad's regime forces opened fire on protestors.

The conflict has now escalated into a bloody civil war that has claimed more than a hundred thousand lives.

More than 50 humanitarian groups are launching multiple events to highlight the anniversary.

They have launched the #withsyria campaign to coordinate action and rally support and solidarity for the victims of the conflict.

British graffiti artistBanksy has created a new image to give a symbol to the #withsyria campaign.

It depicts a girl losing or letting go of a red balloon. The picture is deliberately ambiguous "evoking both loss and hope", says Oxfam America, one charity working with Banksy.

The image will be projected onto landmark buildings around the world to mark the anniversary on March13, along with vigils and rallies.

Golden Globe-winning actorIdris Elba and the band Elbow will join demonstrators in London's Trafalgar Square.

In addition to 100,000 people killed by the conflict, millions have been displaced.

The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan is more than the population of Manchester, and there are more refugees in Turkey than the entire population of Glasgow.

There are two Bristols worth of people displaced from Syria seeking refuge in Lebanon.

"The fighting and other obstacles have denied millions of desperate Syrians access to basics like food, water and medical care,"World Vision's Nathaniel Hurd told Sky News.

"So it's urgent that citizens around the world call on their governments to ensure that aid workers, and Syrian civilians in their own communities, are able to reach vulnerable Syrians whenever and wherever they are in need.

The anniversary has prompted renewed calls for more action over Syria in the US.

The Washington Post editorial board condemned the Obama administration's "seeming inability to focus on more than one international crisis at a time", saying it has been a "boon to Syrian dictatorBashar al Assad".

"The Ukraine crisis", the newspaper says, has allowed the Assad regime to proceed "unmolested and almost unnoticed with a merciless offensive of barrel-bombing".

The newspaper also noted how the Assad regime is missing deadlines on the promised destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal.

The Washington Post condemned White House policy on Syria as an unravelled fantasy based on the false notion that peace talks in Geneva could ever end in the removal of Bashar al Assad from power.

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