The Syrian Conflict Ian ewert

Free Syrian Army

Background

The Syrian Conflict is a civil war between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Free Syrian Army (Rebels). War has been raged for over six years and shows no sign of stopping. Over 400,000 deaths have been recorded.

Syrian Arab Republic

Who's Involved?

The Syrian Conflict is very complex, with 2 main sides and over 25 countries lending their support. The first side is the Syrian Arab Republic, headed by president of Syria Bashar al-Assad. Assad commands the Syrian Armed Forces, and is backed by Russia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, North Korea and a few more. The other side of this war is the rebels, the Free Syrian Army. The Free Syrian Army is governed by the Supreme Military Council, a group of rebel commanders. The Free Syrian Army is backed by countries like America, the UK, Turkey, Qatar, France, the Arab League and a few others. There are two outlier groups involved with the conflict as well, ISIS and the Kurds.

Key events in the conflict

The Syrian Civil War has been a very bloody conflict, with over 400,000 deaths have been recorded to date. Many key battles and events have taken place that had the potential for turning the tides of war.

  • March 18th. 2011, the first act of bloodshed committed in a peaceful protest in Daara
  • July 2011, the Free Syrian Army is formed based out of Turkey
  • July 2012, A bomb was detonated at the Syrian National Security, killing 4 top government officials including Assad's brother in law
  • Summer 2012, the battle for Aleppo begins
  • March 2013, the total number of documented refugees reaches over 1 million, more than half being children.
  • August 2013, A chemical weapons strike in Damascus kills 1,400 Rebel fighters and innocents
  • June 3rd , Bashar al-Assad re-elected as president with a staggering 88.7% of the popular vote
  • Summer 2014, ISIS begins to capture large sects of North and West Iraq, and the largest oil field in Syria
  • September 2014, The first American airstrike on ISIS occurs, ordered by president Barack Obama.
  • December 2015, military action approved from America on ISIS
  • November 2016, Aleppo is captured by the Syrian Government as well as the capital of Syria

Causes of the War

In Syria, mostly all of the population is Muslim; but they're not all the same type of Muslim. Just like Christianity, the Muslim faith has different sects of belief. Mostly all of Syria are Sunni Arabs, while all of the government, including Assad, are Alawite Arabs.. The Alawites have always received special treatment, and that could be one of the driving forces causing the war. Assad led a very oppressive regime, allowing almost no political, religious or social freedoms. One of the biggest causes for the war being declared was the Syrian Government's capturing and torturing of many middle school children for painting anti-Assad speech on the wall of a school.

Domestic/international implications

The biggest domestic and international implication of the Syrian Conflict is the refugee crisis. To date, over 4.8 million innocent men, women and children have had to evacuate their homes to escape the constant firefights and bombings. The refugees have had to flee to neighboring lands, like Lebanon and Jordan. The ones who flee to other lands are forced to live in extreme poverty, with no access to clean food, water or a shelter. Refugees do not have good access to any hospitals or clinics, and many are dying due to a lack of polio vaccinations. Life for a refugee is not an easy one. Another implication is the rise of ISIS. The Syrian conflict has given a once small branch of Al-Qaeda the ability to transform into the foremost terrorist organization on the planet. ISIS has been able to capture very large parts of Syria and Iraq, and are posing a threat to nations like the USA

Works cited

Issa, Philip. “Syrian Civil War: Five Ways the Conflict Has Changed the World.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 13 Mar. 2016, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-isis-how-it-changed-the-world-refugee-crisis-a6928796.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Kelley, Michael B. “The Madness Of The Syria Proxy War In One Chart.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 16 Oct. 2013, www.businessinsider.com/who-is-involved-in-the-war-in-syria-2013-10. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Post, Max Fisher The Washington. “Understanding the Roots of the Syrian Conflict.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, 31 Aug. 2013, www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article1954597.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Sheekh, Muhammad. “Syrian Civil War.” Global Issues in Context Online Collection, Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 2016. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/BWDQON911283434/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=be941550. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

“Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Speaks To His Supporters.” UPI Photo Collection, 2012. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CT4099957191/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=2424c041. Accessed May 2017.

“Syrians Protest Against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad.” UPI Photo Collection, 2012. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CT4099957824/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=4f0f9a57. Accessed May 2017.

“Syria's Civil War Explained from the Beginning.” News | Al Jazeera, 7 Feb. 2017, www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/syria-civil-war-explained-160505084119966.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

“War in Syria: Timeline of Key Events.” Alaraby, The New Arab, 13 Mar. 2015, www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2015/3/13/timeline-syria-4-years-of-devastation. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

“What's Happening in Syria? - CBBC Newsround.” BBC News, BBC, 27 Feb. 2017, www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16979186. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

“What's Life like in a Syrian Refugee Camp?” Muslim Aid, www.muslimaid.org/media-centre/blog/whats-life-like-in-a-syrian-refugee-camp/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

"Primitive Camp Houses Syrian Refugees." Tribune Content Agency Photos, 2014. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CT3294211757/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=4f8a72c6. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

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