Mike Giglio reports: Some Syrians have a simple message for Ukrainians waiting for a response from the U.S. and the West as the crisis in Crimea unfolds: Don’t get your hopes up.
The Syrian uprising grinds into its third year this month, and many in the opposition see a long string of broken promises from an international community that voiced support for their fight to overthrow their Russia-backed president, Bashar al-Assad.
With Russia now sending its forces to the Ukrainian region of Crimea, and with worries that it might invade the mainland, western leaders have been swift with recriminations. President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that there would be “costs” for its aggression.
But Syrian rebels and activists reiterated one piece of advice for the Ukrainians whose protest movement toppled the country’s president, a Russian ally, last week. “Make sure that you achieve whatever you’re aiming for with your own hands,” Abdullah Ismail, a rebel coordinator based on the Turkish border, told BuzzFeed. “That’s the only way to avoid relying on promises.”
“Ukrainians must believe only in themselves,” said Barzan Iso, a Syrian-Kurdish journalist and activist.
In interviews, each of the Syrians was quick to point out the sea of differences between the two countries and between their two revolutions. Their advice was meant not to draw a comparison, but to help those Ukrainians against Russian intervention better understand their enemy — and, even more so, their supposed allies in the west. [Continue reading…]