With reports claiming that nearly half a million Syrians have been slaughtered since the beginning of the war. Why did the West including the US not get involved and intervene in the largest massacre in the 21st century so far?

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    Although we condole with the people of Syria, what answer are you expecting? "How could the global superpowers sit back?" is a far too broad and opinion-based question to qualify for StackExchange format. – bytebuster Jan 9 '17 at 4:02
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    The US IS involved (illegally might I add as they are violating international laws). This question has too many moving parts and is very complicated and hard to answer. Be more specific. Simplest answer would be US and Russia are in a proxy war in Syria. – Noah Jan 9 '17 at 5:01
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    Curiously enough, some other people [complain that the USA and NATO intervened too much in Syria](politics.stackexchange.com/questions/11302/why-wont-nato-leave-syria). The NATO did force Al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons stocks (although with some controversy), and supported with weapons and training opposition groups. But the opposition groups failed to form a coherent alliance, with some of them joining the islamist band after they had been supplied with Western weapons... – SJuan76 Jan 9 '17 at 9:15
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    Your question is about two different subjects. Perhaps you should edit it to focus on either topic? Otherwise the question is leading and becomes very hard to answer factually. – Björn Lindqvist Jan 9 '17 at 11:19
  • Have now edited. – El Shteiger Jan 9 '17 at 16:11
  1. Turkey wants a neo-Ottoman realm in north Syria and Iraq, that + stop Syrian Kurds from linking their cantons (note that it cooperates with Iraqi Kurds at the same time)
  2. Qatar, Saudi Arabia & co. want Iran's influence out of Syria and a direct continental pipeline to the EU
  3. Iran wants a pipeline of it's own to the EU and it believes that if Damascus falls then Teheran will be next
  4. Israel just wants every organized army around itself to be super-occupied with something that is not Israel
  5. Russia wants a strategic base smack in the middle of the middle east
  6. US doesn't want Russia's strategic base, wants Iran isolated and supports Qatar, Saudi Arabia & co and their friends (the Idlib jihadi groups, which are actually enemies of the US, but more on them later)
  7. 100+ different more Jihadi or less Jihadi groups in Idlib province want slightly different and competing version of this or that califate, more US aligned, more Saudi aligned, more Turkish aligned, more independent, women dressing slightly more, or slightly less etc etc, a clusterfuck of minor interests basically
  8. IS wants global domination :tadadadaaaaam:
  9. Iraqi central government wants control of it's own country in face of US&Turkish backed Kurds, Iran-influenced shia groups and Saudi-influenced Sunni groups
  10. Syrian government wants all of Syria for itself and if anybody will be building any pipelines it better be over the ground they control
  11. Iraqi Kurds want to control the oil rich regions around Kirkuk and Mosul without getting controlled by the central government
  12. Syrian Kurds want to link up their cantons and achieve some sort of independence from whoever wins the war
  13. ...

and the list goes on. Which side do you suggest to support? What exactly is the international community supposed to do?

One thing that is certainly not going on is "international community sitting idly by". In fact, it's doing far too much to be good for Syria.

I suggest you follow this for a while https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/ and develop a bullshit filter of your own and figure it out for yourself, because almost no source will give you the whole truth of what is going on there.

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The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been involved since the beginning and has been instrumental in creating the conditions that lead to these deaths. You can think of Syria as a key piece on the Grand Chessboard. The reason Syria is such an important strategic country is because of its geographical position in the region, its relatively secular culture (when compared to other Islamic nations), and political alliances with certain "naughty" countries -- according to the U.S.'s definition.

Keep in mind that the Obama administration has maintained that if the U.S. can get its allies to be the boots on the ground then they will support them with drones. (I would reference an article here, but my rank only allows 2 links per post)

This is a topic that can lead down many rabbit holes, because of the sheer volume of analysis on the subject. So, let us begin with one important piece of the puzzle: the U.S. government had been planning the overthrow of the Syrian government since at least 2001.

The Plan -- according to General Wesley Clark -- was to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.

Well, that was the goal, of course, but things haven't gone as smoothly as they had hoped -- mainly because of Russia getting involved. Which is why the U.S. got involved with the Ukraine... as retaliation against Russia for getting in our way. Putin's had been working towards absorbing the Russian portion of Ukraine via a Ukrainian succession referendum. But I digress...

How many of these countries has the Bush and Obama administrations successfully or actively attempting to create regime change?

  • Iraq: COMPLETE
  • Syria: War In Progress
  • Lebanon: ?
  • Lybia: COMPLETE
  • Somalia: War In Progress
  • Sudan: ?
  • Iran: Conducted Media Demonization Campaign & Cyber Warfare so far. Russia stepped-in politically and delayed progress.

Now that we have context established, lets go back to your original question:

Why did the West including the US not get involved and intervene in the largest massacre in the 21st century so far?

The answer is because the west began the war as a NATO effort to institute regime change in Syria and overthrow Assad. The more death and carnage there is with this conflict, the more pressure that puts on the Assad regime -- with the hopes of leading to his overthrow and/or death.

Luckily for Assad, he has Russia on his side. Russia (Putin) has backed Assad for their (his) own reasons. I think, mainly to push back against the U.S. and assert their regional dominance.

There's also the point that the U.S. wants to run an oil pipeline from Iraq to Europe via a Syria that has a US-controlled puppet-regime.

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