Syria Crisis: Explainer
On March 15,Syria civil war entered it’s eighth year which has killed more than 465,000 in the fighting, over a million injured, and over 12 millions displaced.
Arab Spring: In 2011, successful uprisings all over middle east that came to be known as the Arab Spring took place against Tunisia's and Egypt's regimes giving hope for democracy in Syria.
That March, peaceful protests and demonstrations took place in Syria as well.The Syrian government,led by President Bashar al-Assad cracked down on protesters and activists killing hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoning which inflamed widespread public anger.More than 15 boys were detained and tortured for writing graffiti in support of the Arab Spring. One of the boys, a 13-year-old, was killed after brutal torture.
In July 2011, a rebel group was formed by the “so-called” “traitors” of the Syrian army named as Free Syrian Army which aimed to overthrow Assad’s government which slid Syria into civil war.
Not only authoritarian rule,global warming was also a key factor in sparking the 2011 uprising. Syria was plagued by severe droughts for three years 2007-10, which caused more than 1.5 million people to migrate into cities fuelling poverty and social unrest.
Sunni Muslims are a majority in Syria but Alawi sect, of which Assad is a member has dominated Syria's security establishment.
intervention of foreign and regional nations have played a large role in Syria's civil war backing both the sides.
One of the main ally of Assad’s government is Russia who entered in 2015.The governments of majority Shia- Iran and Iraq, and Lebanon-based Hezbollah, have been supporting Assad, on the other hand Sunni-majority countries, including Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have been backing anti-Assad rebels.
Since the conflict began, many new rebel groups have joined the fighting in Syria and have frequently fought one another making the crisis more complex.
ISIL(Islamic state of Iraq)emerged in northern and eastern Syria in 2013 and other groups fighting in Syria include Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Iran-backed Hezbollah, and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
The US has armed anti-Assad rebel groups and led an international coalition to bomb ISIL targets since 2014.Israel carried out several air raids in Syria, reportedly targeting pro-government facilities.In September 2015, Russia launched a bombing campaign against the reported "terrorist groups" in Syria including ISIL and anti-Assad rebel groups backed by the USA.Also Since 2016, Turkish troops have launched several operations against the Islamic State of Iraq as well as against Kurdish groups armed by the United States.In 2017,then US President Barack Obama had warned that the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a"red line" that would prompt military intervention and in in April 2017, the US carried its first direct military action against Assad's forces,
Peace negotiations have been ongoing between the Syrian government and the opposition in order to achieve political stability in Syria and put an end to the deadly civil war but the main sticking point has been the fate of Assad and his role in transitional government.At the UN Security Council, Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed for Western nations’ backed resolutions in Syria.
With more than 5.5 million refugees registered from Syria by, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in 2018 and estimated over 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDP) within Syria's borders,the situation is reported as one of the worst
humanitarian crisis in the world.The horror of the human tragedy was brought as images of the lifeless body of a young toddler– one of at least 12 Syrians who drowned attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos got viral becoming the top trending picture on Twitter under the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (humanity washed ashore).
Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan are hosting most of the Syrian refugees,with collaborations with UN.Syrian refugee camps have been established across borders and assistance is being provided by foreign aids.In 2017, estimated 66,000 refugees reported to have returned to Syria and according
to Turkish officials, around 140,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey have returned home after Turkish military operations in 2017.