Syria decides to launch a space program in the midst of a civil war


So it seems that the Syrian government has decided that it wants to start a space program. That’s not a bad idea, a lot of countries have them and personally I’m for further exploring space as much as possible. No the problem lies in the obvious fact that Syria is in the midst of a devastating civil war.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), which is the state-run media organization, released a statement/story about this new initiative. They were vague on the details but stated that the goal of the program would be “of a scientific and research nature.” That’s not vague at all.

Another problem is the fact that many students and scholars have either fled the country or been forced into service, so it’s probable that the space agency will be a small one for a while.

“Students and scholars are isolated in war-ridden cities or remote villages where schools and universities have been bombed, occupied by military and rebel forces and left as strategic targets of opposing sides of the conflict,” said Daniela Kaisth, who is the vice president of the Institute of International Education (IIE), a non-profit group.

“Many of the students and scholars we hear from do not have valid passports or permission to leave the country,” Kaisth added. “Those who are able to travel within Syria must navigate hostile checkpoints, and many students and scholars have reported horrific instances of targeted violence, kidnapping, and torture.”

[via The Verge, image via Freedom House’s flickr]

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  • Louis

    [@Ashraf] Heck, I do believe you’re right on that point(s) :-). We should kick the butt of the very first country that developed it — now everyone wants it for ‘self-defense’, or to balance the scale (or so they say).

  • Ashraf

    [@Louis] But what gives some countries the right to develop ballistic missiles and not others? In any case, who cares — this is more propaganda than anything, Syria is in no condition to develop anything meaningful at the moment. Heck, some would argue Syria doesn’t have the resources to develop anything meaningful even if they weren’t in a civil war.

  • Louis

    Sounds more like a cover story for a large ballistic etc missile launching site, made to appear to overhead satellites as the new ‘space program’ location