A few days ago I reflected on the fact that changes in the format of the popular TV show “The Great British Bake Off” was receiving a lot more coverage than something substantially more important – a ceasefire has been agreed in the Syrian conflict such that, for a few days anyway, aid can be brought to where it is most needed.
We learned yesterday, and this time there was more media coverage, that the ceasefire had come to an abrupt end because a UN aid carrying convoy had been bombed from the air, killing some of those in the convoy, and hostilities have resumed between warring factions. However this is viewed, it is yet another atrocity in a nasty conflict. The upshot is that aid can no longer been brought in to the desperate people who need it. Relations between the US and Russia have sank to a new low as the US accuses Russia of being involved, a charge Russia vigorously and indignantly denies. One area of disagreement is how to deal with the official Syrian Assad regime, which Russian supports and the other main powers do not.
As I reflected before, the conflict in Syria is complex and many are affected to a great extent, often as victims. It has been the innocent and vulnerable that have suffered most as invariably happens, something the truce was meant to alleviate but failed. I wish I had a solution for bringing about peace, helping the refugees from the conflict and those still living in or nearby their homes in Syria with nowhere else to go. While we have by necessity to weep and empathise with those we know and do what is in our power to help, however limited that is, I still believe in trying to understand the bigger picture and to love our Syrian neighbor who we don’t know.
I write this with a degree of frustration, feeling powerless. The situation is devastating and one where solutions are needed now. Although I don’t have the answer (I wish I did), I will pray to the God who does, continue my quest to become better informed as to what is going on and do my small part helping those who are suffering by showing compassion when I can. While I fear the conflict will continue for some time to come and may even escalate, there is a crying need for peace and for peacemakers.