According to Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), there are about 200,000 persons in need of humanitarian assistance in the governorate, but the actual number is expected to have increased recently. People have come from other parts of the country including Homs, Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Idleb, and Deraa. New arrivals continue to flow into Tartous on a daily basis.
The longer the West remains inactive, the more Islamic extremists will join the war. Inaction by the Obama administration over the last two years had encouraged the regime to kill more than 60,000 Syrians and force the displacement of 2 million Syrians. By turning a blind eye, President Obama has in effect given the green light to Al-Qaeda and other Jihadists to enter Syria.
On Thursday night in New York, one by one they lined up to try and destroy 20 years of hard work. First Iran, then North Korea and then Syria. This was supposed to be the moment the United Nations took a truly historic step and adopted an Arms Trade Treaty. But instead of a moment of history, I witnessed a moment of cynical opportunism.
Many Syrians I spoke to on a recent visit to Syria hold the UN partially responsible for the deaths of 70, 000 lives in the unfolding humanitarian disaster that is wracking the country. There is an impression that the UN is propping up the regime by working and delivering aid via the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
In effect the Westerners want to take sides in a multi-dimensional war, with no guarantee that their chosen protégées will prevail. Most likely, by arming the rebels they will give carte blanche to the Russians and Iranians to reinforce their support for Assad and his allies, including the Lebanese Shia faction Hezballah.
Nowhere describes Syria's disintegration as a nation more acutely than her shattered second city of Aleppo. No where describes the agony of Syria more acutely than that city's Darshifa Clinic. Despite the almost complete lack of medical staff, drugs, equipment and even sanitation, the clinic tends the cascades of brutally injured civilians and fighters alike pouring through its door.
I'm just back from a couple of days in Jordan looking at the incredible work that Save the Children are doing with the Syrian refugees in the country. Jordan is a country of only six million people and, if current estimates are correct, there will be more than a million Syrians in the country by the end of this year.
Walid Saffour is sitting in a light, minimalist office overlooking Hyde Park. A representative of the Syrian National Coalition of the Revolutionary Opposition, he seems like a cross between a gentle Syrian uncle and a seasoned diplomat. Yet while he is affable and polite, there is an intrinsic reserve about him.
Facebook and twitter came at a pivotal time in history. The chicken or the egg theory can be applied here in asking: Did twitter and facebook help revolutions grow, or did they help track people involved in uprisings? (In both the case of the Arab uprisings and the Occupy movement.) I would say both.