Syria: two years on. Between a rock and a hard place.

It’s two years since the start of the Syrian uprising and then civil war. The rising death toll serves as a constant reminder that what started as a peaceful cry for freedom and dignity has descended into a bloody armed conflict – with devastating consequences.

Amnesty International has produced two reports, published today, focusing on human rights violations and suspected war crimes committed by both government and opposition sides. They’re worth reading, particularly as there is much talk of increasing the transfer of arms from this country and others to the rebel forces. Progress away from war may be slow and, right now, it looks more than difficult, but – as ever – it is possible. You can take action here.

Amnesty reports here:

Government bombs rain on civilians

Summary killings and other abuses by armed opposition groups

Meanwhile, spare a thought for the people of the Syrian Golan, under occupation by Israeli forces since 1967. As Hannah Russell puts it in this filmed talk from RightsNI Live!, in the double-bind of Syrian civil war and Israeli occupation the people are caught between a rock and a hard place.