Middle East

Syria crisis: Global readers' voices

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Image caption The US and its allies are considering action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

As the US and its allies consider military action against sites in Syria, here, readers in neighbouring countries and beyond give their views on potential Western intervention.

Demetrios Nicolaides, Limassol, Cyprus

Intervening now in Syria would be a terrible mistake.

For two and a half years, the Western powers have sat idly by and done nothing, as the Syrian civil war has raged.

Launching any kind of attack has the potential to threaten this sensitive region, as many US and UK targets are well within the reach of the [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad regime.

Forces in Iraq, Turkey and Cyprus could easily come under fire and cause greater destruction.

In Cyprus, this is something we're worried about.

The Western nations should do more to facilitate an end to hostilities, through a political settlement and the disarming of both the Syrian government and rebel forces.

Anthony Luder, Safed, Israel

Military intervention is morally justified. In fact, it's an absolute necessity, given the war crimes that have been committed.

Not intervening would send a very bad message to the region, especially to Iran.

I am not concerned about Israel being targeted by Syria. People here have full confidence in the ability of our defence services to defend us.

There's a feeling here that once weapons of mass destruction have been used against civilians, a red line has been crossed. [US President Barack] Obama said as much a year ago.

If he didn't stand by that, it would send a message that the words of the West are baseless and empty. I have a feeling that the Israeli public think we're at a crucial point in history.

Maryam, Tehran, Iran

An objective investigation needs to take place to find out who used the chemical weapons, who funded them, who provided the technology and who sold them. The entire chain of production and use should be investigated.

Right now, we need humanitarian intervention to protect the Syrian people and the rest of the region. There are currently one million child refugees dislocated from normal life.

The US said its red line was the use of chemical weapons and now it seems it has been crossed. This does leave the US in a pickle. Now it needs to act, otherwise it will look weak, even if this specific incident may not merit military intervention.

Unfortunately, Syria is a proxy war for other countries in the region. The biggest loser in this game is the Syrian people and their economy.

Hassan El-Saghir, Beirut, Lebanon

I think that the West attacking Syria is inevitable and should be done.

All options have been exhausted in trying to end this war for the past two years. One hundred thousand lives have been lost, there has been severe destruction in Syria and now the use of chemical weapons on civilians.

It looks as if the Syrian regime has nothing to offer its people but war. Also, the Syrian regime is becoming cumbersome on the world community and a source of instability to surrounding countries.

The negative effect would be even more refugees in Lebanon and more tension within this country, but to do nothing would be a shame.

Hasan Ay, Mardin, Turkey

I think the US and UK should intervene to stop this civil war, otherwise more innocent people will be killed by the Assad regime.

l live near the Syrian border and have seen lots of refugees coming into the area.

Turkey has no power to intervene in [the affairs of] any other country, so can only support any action [by the US and UK].

I am against one country intervening in the internal politics of another, in principle, but the only way to solve the Syria situation is through a military operation.

It is the only way to stop the bloodshed.

Zhu Feng, Beijing, China

I am very sceptical about military intervention in Syria and its consequences.

It's unclear whether this is just a quick solution to weaken Assad's government.

A lot of people say US policy in the Middle East has failed in the past.

As a reaction to the use of chemical weapons, [military intervention] sounds reasonable, but will this help bring about a solution for Syria or is it just punitive action against Assad?

A punitive measure may not resolve the current domestic turmoil in Syria.

Vladimir Korovkin, Moscow, Russia

In Russia, I believe we have a very strong consensus against intervention in Syria - almost as strong as the one we had against the bombings of Yugoslavia.

There are several big issues to do with possible intervention, as seen by the Russian people.

We generally have become really paranoid towards the West. The strong feeling here is that Western interventions all end up causing chaos, such as in the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. We place big emphasis on the sovereignty of countries - maybe because of the inner feeling of our own international insecurity.

The issue of alliance or even friendship plays a role. The Russian attitude to friends is very deep and despite certain imperfections of these friends, you still have to support them in everything they do. So the idea that "Assad is not perfect, but he is our historic friend and we can't just drop him," is very popular.