Syrian Civil War

By: Ryan Burns

Background

Syria broke out into a full-fledged civil war close to four and a half years ago. The war started with anti-government protests that soon became more than simple protesting. Violence errupted when the Assad Regime retaliated with violence to the protestors. Since 2011, upwards of 470,000 Syrians and others have died as a result of the war. A study has shown that close to 1 in 10 Syrians have been injured or killed since the start of the war.Today, Syria is split up into many different territories, and it an active battle ground in many places.

Syrian National Flag

  • Red: Blood of the Martyrs
  • Black: The Abbasids
  • White: The Umayyad
  • Green: The Rashidun
  • Stars: Previous union between Egypt and Syria

Bashar al-Assad

  • Current "President" of Syria
  • Many believe he resembles more of a dictator
  • Succeeded his father, who led Syria for 30 years
  • First elected in 2000, receiving votes in the upper 90th percentile, while opposing candidates were not permitted to run against him.
  • Re-elected in 2014, received votes in the 88th percentile, ran against two other regime sanctioned candidates, first contested presidential election in Syria's history.
  • Authoritarian Regime rule
  • Ordered military sieges on Arab Spring protestors, which was a leading cause for the civil war to come.
  • Accused by many for committed inhuman war crimes such as using chemical weapons on his own people, which are outlawed around the world.

Protesting

  • Citizens in Syria were looking for a change in governmental policy
  • Pushing for democracy
  • School students were tortured for painting on walls, calling for a revolution
  • Population erupted in disbelief
  • People took the streets to protest, nationwide
  • Assad and regime retaliated with force, which only fueled the protests
  • Hundreds of thousands of people were beginning too take part in the movement
  • Protesters soon began to defend themselves against the government with weapons

Beginning of Civil war

  • As protesters began to fight back, it became more and more violent
  • Rebel forces began building defense units, to battle against the government forces
  • Began fighting for control of certain and strategic cities and ports

War Crimes and use of chemical weapons

  • War crimes are looked down upon by the United Nations and a lot of countries around the world.
  • War crimes include genocide, torture, kidnapping, rape
  • All for the purpose of winning a war
  • Food and water have also been cut off to civilians in some places, as a strategic battle plan
  • These sieges also are blocking access to medical treatment and services in some parts
  • In 2013, many people were brutally killed in Damascus
  • Chemical weapons were clearly in play, which are outlawed as a tactic of war
  • The chemical, a nerve agent called sarin, was distributed to these people when missiles were launched into crowds.
  • The blame was quickly pointed towards the Assad regime
  • The regime soon blamed it on the rebel forces
  • The U.S. quickly stepped in and threatened military invasion, which led to the dismounting of all of Syria's chemical weapons facilities.

Refugee Crisis

  • Due to the war, over 3 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, and as far as to Europe, in hope of evading the conflict and possible chance of death or injury
  • Refugee camps are being set up in these neighboring countries to attempt to help these refugees
  • Of the refugees who fled "successfully", 4 out of every 5 people live in extreme poverty
  • Many people of other countries are skeptical regarding all of the refugees, as some are not sure whether to allow all of these people into their countries.

jihadists and rebel forces

  • The Islamic State, a terrorist group, has emerged as a threat due to this war
  • They have a lot of controlled territory in Syria
  • There are many rebel groups in Syria, all with different views
  • In Syria, there are wars within wars
  • The most prominent group is called the Free Syrian Army

U.S. Air Strikes

  • The U.S. has remained firm on the policy of not having "boots on the ground" in Syria at this time.
  • The U.S. has been conducting strategic air strikes, targeting key resources of the Islamic State and the Syria government
  • The air strikes are an attempt to weaken the jihadists and the Syrian regime
  • At this time, the U.S. is focused more on training the rebel forces in military strategy and combat, and to allow them to resolve the issue.

Countries taking sides

  • The U.S. has not seen eye to eye with Russia or North Korea in many events and situations
  • Russia has clearly shown support for the continuation of the Assad Regime, backing them up with air support of their own, and supplying military units and weapons.
  • North Korea has also shown recent interest in the civil war
  • They have also shown military support for the Syrian government
  • France is on the side of the U.S. along with other countries in the matter of calling for the resignation of Assad

Citations

  • "Syria Refugee Crisis FAQ: How the War Is Affecting Children." World Vision U.S. N.p., 11 May 2016. Web. 02 June 2016
  • "Syria: The Story of the Conflict." BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2016
  • The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.
  • "Google Images." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2016.
  • "Syria's Chemical Weapons Stockpile." BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2016
  • CrisisWatch Database." - International Crisis Group. N.p., 29 May 2015. Web. 02 June 2016.