As the hell of Syria's ongoing and increasingly intractable internal conflict continues to play out, the announcement by newly installed US Secretary of State John Kerry that the US is to step up its support for the Syrian opposition with $60 million in 'non-military' aid should leave nobody in any doubt that the day of western military intervention in the conflict fast approaches.
I walked around to see how children in Homs are living. In a convent that works with children, situated at the end of a line of fully standing buildings and right before the destruction and rubble begins, I was amazed to find children reading books, listening to teachers, drawing pictures and playing games. The drawings on the walls spoke of smiling faces, waving hands, laughter and messages about the need to forgive. A total contrast to the rubble outside that represents so many battered lives.
For several weeks in February 1982, Assad's forces crushed a revolt lead by a splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood. In twenty one days the regime killed an estimated 40, 000 lives. Raphaёl Lefèvre's Ashes of Hama tries to understand its significance and suggests that the current uprising must be viewed through the prism of this massacre.