Who are the parties to the conflict?
This war is being fought between America, Islamic state of Iraq, the Government of Syria, Rebels/ people of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Turkey.
Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria (2000–)
Hafez al-Assad (1930–2000), President of Syria (1971–2000)
Barack Obama (1961–), President of the United States (2009–2017)
Riad al-Asaad (1961–), commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) (2011–)
Wael al-Halqi (1964–), Prime Minister of Syria (2012–2016)
Vladimir Putin (1952–), President of Russia (2000–2008, 2012–)
Ban Ki-moon (1944–), United Nations (UN) Secretary-General (2007–2016)”
This diagram shows the involvement of countries/groups in the Syrian Civil War. It shows who they are fighting and who they are supporting. For example, it shows that the US is supporting Rebel Groups and fighting the Islamic State, while Russia is fighting the Rebel Groups and the Islamic State and supporting the Syrian Government.
What is the history of the conflict?
The Syrian people don’t like the new ruler because he is suppressing democracy. In July of 2011, the rebel group called Free Syrian Army, was created. They aim to overthrow the government. From that time, Syria began to slide into civil war. The Syrian War first started with small riots that then broke out involving the government.
- 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
What are the causes of the conflict?
First, it was lack of freedom and trouble with economic, and harsh crackdown on protesters increased public anger. After thirty years of ruling, Hafez al-Assad died and his son has now become president. 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. The president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, did not accept a peace treaty. Instead they fired tanks onto the crowds of protestors killing many. The Syrian government did not stop the violent killings, so the Arab League basically shut down the Syrian government. America saw that the Syrian people were in needs and that the government was using chemical weapons against them they intervened. When Russia saw that America joined out of despite Russia joining the government side of the war.
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. The effects from the war could be Isis growing at a faster rate and Assad either being killed or causing more damage before being impeached. The war could leave Syria in an absolute wreck with millions more dead and possibly no democracy left.
This picture from CNN shows that the Syrian Civil War does affect the citizens of Syria. Right in the middle of busy street, a huge explosion captures everyone's attention! It looks like an air strike or a bomb, but either way it probably killed innocent people in the street. There are women and children going about their daily business when a huge explosion happens right in the middle of the street.
More than half of the country's pre-war population (about 11 million people) has been displaced from their homes. Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan are now housing large and growing numbers of Syrian refugees. This is also impacting European countries.
This picture is a Syrian refugee camp near Turkey. It shows that the war is forcing the Syrian people out of their homes and away from the war. There are so many people that are forced to abandon their homes and live miles and miles away.
"Give Vladimir Putin his due; he realized that America was all talk." Daily Star [Beirut, Lebanon], 19 Feb. 2016. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A443645973/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=a334e1da. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
"Syria: no way in, no way out." Daily Times [Lahore, Pakistan], 18 Feb. 2016. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A443508661/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=a01c991c. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
"Syrian Civil Unrest." Global Issues in Context Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Global Issues in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CP3208520407/GIC?u=nhais_hsao&xid=4a68839f. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
“Syria's Civil War Explained.” Newsela | Syria's Civil War Explained, Newsela Staff, newsela.com/articles/lib-syria-civil-war/id/26727/. Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.