Syrian Civil War

By: Lily Byrnes, Zachary Yin, and Will Kelly

Map Analysis

Date of Map Production: February 25, 2015

A. List three things in this map that you think are important.

1. Number of bombardments before and after UN Security Council Resolution 2139.

2. Location of bombardments before and after UN Security Council Resolution 2139.

3. The government and opposition parts of the map.

B. Why do you think this map was drawn?

The map shows the Syrian government’s way of fight against the oppositions, but the fact is that they also bombarded a large amount of civilians. So it was drawn to show the Syrian government’s carelessness and grim.

C. What evidence in the map suggests why it was drawn?

The map particularly showed the sites of bombardments before and after UN Security Council Resolution 2139. It showed that after the resolution, the bombardments’ amount increased and bombarded not only the middle part of the opposition’s part but instead all the opposition’s part, which was likely to cause big amount of death and injury.

D. What information does this map add to what you already know of the events in that geographical region?

In addition to the graph provided, the map showed the sites and amounts of bombardments. Also, Assad was first reported of using barrel bombs in August 2012, but the real large scale of bombardments took place after November 2013, and it went even worse after the UN Security Council Resolution 2139.

E. Does the information in this map support or contradict information that you have read about this event? Explain.

The information in this map mostly supports the information that I have read. The information about the UN Resolution was not provided. The Resolution 2139 was adopted “to ease aid delivery to Syrians, provide relief from ‘Chilling Darkness’” (

Angered by the UN, the Assad decided to apply more raid to attack the oppositions, and those raid was majorly in the form of using barrel bombardments.

F. Write a question to the mapmaker that is left unanswered by this map.

1. The map clearly showed the site differences between bombardments of different time periods; however, it didn’t tell any of the relationship between bombardments and their damage to the people, such as injury, death, and wreckage.

2. Why the map used the same color differences between Syrian government to Syrian opposition and Syria to the other countries? The Syrian opposition’s color and Syria’s color are both white, and the Syrian government’s color and the other countries’ color are both brown. Is this a bias, which is saying that Syrian opposition should be the party that rules the country of Syria?

3. Why the map showed all those dots of bombardments but not any data beside?

News Analysis

1. The headline for this article is “Syria’s civil war: a brief history” is very clear on what the article consists of. It does not show a biased to either side and does not slant the viewers’ opinion in one way. This being so, could the writer of the article have chosen a headlines that grabs the reader's attention? It in act is telling us the history of Syria’s long fought civil war. The article has headlines on what is happening in the section of writing and the time period of it. This article includes pictures taken, but the pictures are not very interesting and do not stand out? Could better and more pictures be taken to keep the viewer interested in this article?

2. In the Vox article, It calls Jabhat al-Nusra (a branch of Al Qaeda) fighters which almost makes them sound good if you didn't know who they were and that they were terrorists. This makes me think does the author have a biased toward the terrorists? The author uses the word “vicious assaults” which is a well placed adjective to describe just how nasty the assaults were on the civilians of Syria. It also implies that this author is against Assad.

3. The article includes a picture of a graph, which is from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group that is a reliable source and is trusted. Another reliable source is a man named Kenneth Roth who was quoted in the article and is the executive director of Humans Rights Watch, and also writes in the New York Times, a worldly recognized news organization which is why he can be trusted. The writer also includes a quote and said Lister wrote that. Who is Lister? He did not include his/her full name or where he/her worked which is a little suspicious. Getty images is a website where they have thousands of photos, almost like a google images in a way. Two of the photos in our portion of the article is from Getty Images, why would pictures from there be used and how do we know if they are trusted photos?

4. Graphs and pictures can make news articles so much if they are well taken, well placed, and gets the message across on what that photo or graph is trying to show. The vox article covering events in 2012 have a few pictures and a graph. The graph clearly shows what message they are trying to get across, which is how the rise of war killings in Syria went up dramatically through 2012. Something I noticed in the first picture is a man part of Jabhat al-Nusra holding a gun up in the air. I took a second look at it and the man is holding the gun very strangely, in a way that is impossible looking to hold a heavy gun. Was the photo digitally manipulated so the man was holding a gun instead of something else?

5. The article states that the first use of barrel bombs was in August of 2012, but in the graph it says the first use was in november. This contradicts the statement, therefore we are not sure which is right or if any of those dates are reliable. It seems like common sense to have the same dates line up, but since it didn’t, it makes me question this article.

6. The Vox article includes statistics of the deaths of Syrians in war in the article, but they use the word around before listing the number of deaths which raises the possibility of the article exaggerating the numbers and the reader not knowing what number could actually be.

7. This article is a well written article and good photos, but many questions I have had come up while analyzing this article. Does this author have a biased towards a certain side? I ask this because sometimes it seems so. How reliable is the information they are sharing with us? The article includes photos from getty images, are the pictures manipulated? Are these photos even from events that are relevant to the article?

Cartoon Analysis

The political event that the cartoon was referring to was the Syrian rebels. They almost took over Assad but Hezbollah, a Shi’a Islamist militant group, helped Assad fight the rebels; they came into Syria to fight. Hezbollah fought because Iran and Syria are allies. The USA president, Obama and the European Union leader, Herman Van Ropan are target in this cartoon. Also, Assad is in the cartoon; the Syrian president. Obama and Herman Van Ropan are depicted as weak. They have a sad face because they let Assad take over. They weren’t strong enough to fight. Herman Van Ropan was depicted as the strong and powerful person. Hezbollah was protecting him from the rebels in Syria so he doesn't need to worry. The EU flag on the podium and that contributed to the cartoon’s message by referencing the speech that Obama and Ropan made. The flag that says Hezbollah shows that they are Hezbollah. Assad said, “Just my body guards” and that means that Assad is safe and doesn’t need to worry about the rebels in Syria. The dust coming up from the army’s feet means that they are taking over Syria and defeating the rebels.

The artist is trying to persuade the reading into saying that the USA and EU are weak and lost to Syria. It’s trying to say that the riots are a problem but because of Hezbollah, Assad is safe and doesn’t have to worry about the rebels taking over the country. For people in America and the EU, it is trying to make them mad that their leaders are not doing anything. While they could step in with their powers; they aren’t taking any actions and letting Syria take over and not even trying to fight.

Cartoon Link

Chappatte, Patrick. "Assad Rescued by Hezbollah." Cagle Cartoons, 11 June 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. <>.

Group questions for the article

1. Why would assad assist extremist groups?

2. Why would assad think boosting Sunni extremist could solve the conflict?

3. Why would Joulani be anti-assad after being boosted by him?

4. Why would assad turn the fire to civilians instead of the rebellions?

5. What is the conflict between Syrian government and the rebellions?

6. Why was Iran’s assistance crucial to assad?

7. How does Iran’s assistance to assad elongated the conflict?