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The Boston Globe

Opinion

NICHOLAS BURNS

A Srebrenica moment in Syria?

As the savage killings and stratospheric refugee numbers in Syria continue to climb, a key question emerges. When will the United States and other global powers experience a “Srebrenica moment,” when they can no longer stand on the sidelines and resolve instead that they finally have to act?

That is what happened at the climax of the Bosnia war nearly 20 years ago. When the Bosnian Serb army murdered more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the United Nations safe haven of Srebrenica in July 1995, it was the worst massacre in Europe since the Nazi era. Those killings shocked and shamed Western leaders who had resisted decisive intervention until that point.

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