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Bajrović, Reuf

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Die Zeit - Germany | 01/03/2012

Emir Suljagić and Reuf Bajrović compare Syria with Bosnia

The Syrian army has continued its attacks on the rebel stronghold city of Homs. The situation in Homs reminds Bosnian journalists Reuf Bajrović and Emir Suljagić of the siege war in Bosnia in the 1990s and prompts them to call for Western intervention in the liberal weekly Die Zeit: "The crimes against humanity that Bashar al-Assad's regime is committing in Syria are nothing more than a repeat of the ethnic cleansing practices carried out in the 1990s on the Balkans. … The Free Syrian Army was founded to protect unarmed demonstrators from Assad's soldiers. Arming them would help to end the bloodshed. … To leave the Free Syrian Army to its own devices would only increase its vulnerability to radical ideologies and questionable allies. ... This could prevent the formation of a democratic and prospering society in Syria for decades. Here, too, the Bosnian experience can teach a lesson: even in an environment that was far less favourable for extremists, certain sections of Bosnian society turned to extremist ideologies two decades ago."

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