History Of Protests
When did the protests begin?
The protests began in the southern town of Deraa in March 2011.
What were they protesting?
The wave of Arab uprisings that began with the Tunisian revolution of January 2011 reached Syria in mid-March, when residents of the small southern town of Dara’a took to the streets to protest the torture of students who had put up anti-government graffiti. The unrest spread to other parts of the country. Protesters demand reforms, the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, allowing political parties, equal rights for Kurds, and broad political freedoms, such as freedom of the press, speech and assembly.
How did the government respond?
What has been the result?
By October, estimated death toll ranged above 2,900, and human rights groups said that well over 10,000 people had been arrested. Syrian dissidents formally established the Syrian National Council which included representatives from the Damascus Declaration group, a pro-democracy network; the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamic political party; various Kurdish factions; the Local Coordination Committees, a group that helps organize and document protests; and other independent and tribal figures.
What is happening now?
Neither side has managed to achieve a breakthrough on the battlefield and the government and National Coalition have reluctantly agreed to a peace conference in Geneva in January 2014. President Assad is refusing to step aside and step the National Coalition is insisting on. Meanwhile, the war has produced a humanitarian disaster, leaving more than 100,000 people dead and forcing millions from their homes.
Who is in charge of the country?
President Assad is still in charge. This is further angering the National Coalition (the rebels). They are insisting he step down.
Will there be elections?
No. However the National Coalition and the government have agreed to a peace conference.
What key challenges does the country face?
The main challenges are trying to find peace and coming to an agreement that both the government and the National Coalition like. Also, having to deal with all of the destruction and deaths these civil wars have caused. There will have to be a lot of compromise and both sides are continuing to be stubborn about their beliefs and how they want to run the country.
The International Community
What countries have been involved?
LIBYA 2011-? Bombing, missiles, command operation NATO coordinates air strikes and missile attacks against Qaddafi government during uprising by rebel army.
YEMEN 2009-? Missiles, command operation Cruise missile attack on Al Qaeda kills 49 civilians; Yemeni military assaults on rebels.
SYRIA 2008 Troops Special Forces in helicopter raid 5 miles from Iraq kill 8 Syrian civilians
What is the position of the US in this?
What is happening in Syria is chaos. The country has turned on each other and they have lost unity and respect to their leaders because of the leaders' actions. Yes, it is a revolution.