Who are the parties of the conflict?
The Syrian Civil War is a conflict between the Syrian Government and the rebels/the people of Syria. Other minor parties include the Islamic State of Iraq, the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UN, and Turkey. The rebels are called the Free Syrian Army and America and Turkey are supporting them. This side wants to overthrow the Syrian Government. The Islamic State of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Russia are with the Government of Syria and want to stop the rebels to keep Bashar al-Assad as President of Syria. (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
The United Nations is a part of this war but it is not supporting one side, but rather trying to make peace between the two groups. A ceasefire was made, but is broken immediately by the Syrian Government. Ban Ki-moon (UN secretary/general) and Bashar Jaafari (representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations) are important people trying to resolve the Syrian Civil War. (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
Some important people in the war are Bashar al-Assad (current president of Syria), Riad al-Assad (commander of the Free Syrian Army), and Wael al-Halqi (Prime Minister of Syria). (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
What is the history of the conflict?
These are some major events that happened over the course of the war: (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
- 1970: Hafez al-Assad becomes President of Syria
- 2000: Bashar al-Assad assumes the presidency of Syria
- 2011 (March): First large-scale anti-government demonstrations in Syria
- 2011 (July): Free Syrian Army is formed
- 2014 (May): Government re-takes rebel-held city of Homs
- 2014 (September): U.S.-led coalition begins air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria
- 2015 (September): Russia begins air strikes against non-government targets
- 2016 (September): Ceasefire between government and rebel forces begins
The people of Syria were fed up of over 30 years of the al-Assad family suppressing democracy. They started riots and eventually started a rebel group. This group grew larger and they now are called the Free Syrian Army (“Syrian Civil Unrest”). These are a few pictures of the Free Syrian Army:
What are the causes of the conflict?
The lack of freedoms and trouble with economic trouble and harsh crackdown on protesters increased public anger. Bashar still refuses to make fair decisions for the people of Syria even though people are protesting and Syria's economy is in ruins. (“Syria’s Civil War Explained”)
“President Assad appeared ready to accept an Arab League–brokered peace deal on 2 November 2011, but a violent clash the next day between security forces and protesters in Homs appeared to doom the plan. Witnesses said Syrian tanks fired on the crowd, killing from ten to twenty people. On 16 November, the Arab League issued an ultimatum to the Syrian government: stop the bloodshed within three days, or be suspended. The Arab League followed through on its threat of suspending Syria and, on 27 November, approved sweeping economic sanctions. On 30 November 2011, the Turkish government also approved tough sanctions on Syria, including a freeze of Syrian government assets in Turkey. As the month of November ended, the UN estimated that four thousand people had been killed in the ongoing violence, which it then officially termed a ‘civil war.’” (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
The president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, did not accept a peace treaty. Instead he ordered tanks to fire onto the crowds of protesters..... killing many. The Syrian government did not stop the violent killings, so the Arab League put sanctions on the Syrian Government and made it very hard for them to operate. (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)
America saw that the Syrian people were in need and that the government was using chemical weapons against them they intervened. When Russia saw that America started supporting the Free Syrian Army, they joined out of spite and are supported the Syrian Government. (“Give Vladimir Putin”)
What are the effects of the conflict, both inside and outside of Syria?
“As of May 2016, some officials estimated that as many as 400,000 people had been killed in the conflict, over 4 million had fled the country, and 7.6 million had been forced from their homes but remained within Syria.” (“Syrian Civil Unrest”)