Sometimes a single paragraph can say so much. The following is from an interview with a Syrian who participated in the protest movement that started in 2011. He later fled Syria. He describes what happened when he participated in protests in Turkey in 2013.
Still hungry for a revolutionary movement, when the first anniversary of the Gezi Park uprising again ignited in Turkey, Sami joined Turkish friends in the streets. “That was my first time being tear gassed” he tells me to my surprise. “They didn’t gas you in Syria?” I ask. “No, only live bullets. They just fired at you with bullets in Syria. I know how to run from bullets, but not from gas,” he says with a smile. (Ryan Harvey, The Long Journey of Two Syrian Revolutionaries, April 21, 2016.)The Assad regime did not use tear gas against the protesters. But bullets. No wonder everything fell apart in Syria.
Here is a video (Warning: It contains graphic violence) against protesters that was posted on April 27, 2011 of a protest in Ghouta, Damascus. (Hat tip.) And indeed the regime personnel in that video did not use tear gas but instead simply started using their guns when dispersing the protest. This deadly violence against an initially peaceful protest movement started the war in Syria.
Alas, the cessation of hostilities appears to be gradually breaking down at present. The Syrian people deserve to live in peace and safety.