In March, the conflict in Syria entered its third year, hovering on the brink of a wide-scale humanitarian crisis. According to reports from the BBC, more than 70,000 people have been killed, more than three million people displaced and much of the nation’s infrastructure destroyed.
Hope of a political solution has all but dissipated, and as the official opposition is in a state of disarray, Islamist units are asserting their strength, imposing Sharia law in rebel-held areas.
According to the BBC, Al-Qaeda in Iraq has also confirmed for the first time that a prominent jihadist group fighting in Syria is part of its network. The al-Nusra Front is at the forefront of the armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The leader of the Iraqi wing of al-Qaeda said that al-Nusra is battling for an Islamic state in Syria, seeking to depose the unpopular president Bashar al-Assad, although he has given no indication that he is willing to step aside.
News reports also state that while the Western world is keen to send aid, it does not know how to deal with the current government. An arms embargo that had been put in place earlier on in the conflict was lifted in March, after pressure from the UK and France.
Pray that there will be a speedy and peaceful resolution to the conflict, and that Christians living in Syria may receive protection regardless of whoever remains in power.