Syria (MNN) — NATO caused an international stir this week as they announced that they would not be taking action in the bloody, 15-month conflict taking place in Syria.
Some accuse NATO of ignoring the thousands of lives lost in the mess. Some have pointed to the Libya intervention, asking why NATO would intervene there and not in Syria. But Vice President of Church and Ministry Partners for e3 Partners, Tom Doyle, says it's more complicated than that.
"I don't see an international team coming in because basically Syria's being propped up by Iran. They're behind the scenes, and if America went in or a coalition, they're basically inviting a war with Iran," Doyle explains.
Doyle spends a great deal of time in the Middle East and only recently returned from Egypt. He says that international leaders are also aware that the rebels rising up in Syria may set up a regime just as bad as President Assad's if given power.
"I think many of the nations are concerned that the Sunnis–as in the case in Egypt–may end up being even worse for the country than the Alawite leader that they have that nobody's in love with either. But it's the lesser of the two evils," says Doyle.
Essentially, despite the blood bath, entering Syria could invite more conflict for Syria and for the rest of the world. But it's a catch-22. While international groups like NATO don't feel they can intervene, standing by means more lives lost daily.
In recent weeks, rebel forces seem to have grown more violent in attacks on ordinary citizens. On Saturday, a car bomb killed at least nine people. Then on Tuesday, an explosion at a restaurant killed five.
Doyle says even though the forces are fighting the government and not the Syrian people, this tactic is being used as a motivator. "They're not winning against the government. So if they go after the citizens [and] make them miserable, maybe they'll rise up," notes Doyle.
Other groups are even preying on refugees, taking advantage of their anger and fear to try and get them in on the fight. Doyle says, "They reach out, try to recruit them to get in radical groups: ‘Fight back! Here's how you can make a difference. Join this group!'"
Bombings. Deception. Bloody deaths. Syria is a mess, and international groups are helpless to intervene. Yet hope remains. Although some Christians have fled the area for the country of their families, others continue to reach out to their neighbors with Christ's love. And even in the midst of extreme disaster, people are clinging to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus for the first time.
Pray for an end to this conflict, but pray for believers' strength and safety in the meantime. Pray that the Lord would fulfill His commission in Syria regardless of any earthly factors.