SYRIA CIVIL WAR
Syrian civil war, also known as the Syrian uprisingis an ongoing armed conflict in Syria. It is a conflict between forces of the Ba’ath government and forces who want to remove this government. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with demonstrations. These demonstrations were like demonstrations held in other Arab countries, which has been called the Arab Spring. Protesters in Syria demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. His family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971. Many of Assad’s supporters are Shia while the majority of the government opposition is Sunni. In April 2011, the Syrian Army fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of military battles, the protests turned into an armed rebellion. Opposition forces were soldiers who had left the Syrian army and civilian volunteers. Opposition fighters had no central leadership. Battles took place in many towns and cities across the country. In late 2011 the Islamist group al-Nusra Front began to have a bigger role in t forces. In 2013 Hezbollah entered the war in support of the Syrian army.
The Syrian government received military support from Russia and Iran. Qatar and Saudi Arabia gave weapons to the rebels.By July 2013, the Syrian government controlled approximately 30–40 percent of the country’s territory and 60 percent of the Syrian population. A 2012 UN report said the battles were between different sects or groups.The battles were between Shia groups against Sunni rebel groups,
As the unrest spread, the crackdown intensified. Opposition supporters took up arms, first to defend themselves and later to expel security forces from their areas. Mr Assad vowed to crush “foreign-backed terrorism” and restore state control.
According to the United Nations, over 100,000 people were killed by June 2013. A total of 120,000 were killed by September 2013. In addition, tens of thousands of protesters were put in jail. There were reports that the Syrian government was torturing prisoners International organizations accused both government and opposition forces of breaching human rights.] The UN said most of the abuses were carried out by the Syrian government.More than 4 million Syrians were forced to relocate because of the battles and more than 2 million refugees left their country. Millions of citizens are still short of electricity, food and drinking water.
External powers have also been accused of fostering sectarianism in what was a broadly secular state, pitching the country’s Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect. Such divisions have encouraged both sides to commit atrocities that have not only caused loss of life but also torn apart communities, hardened positions and dimmed hopes for a political settlement.
Jihadist groups have also seized on the divisions, and their rise has added a further dimension to the war. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance formed by what was once the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, controls large parts of the north-west.
CREDIT BBC NEWS
In 2013 the Syrian regime used Chemical weapons against the rebels. This drew attention from the international community.The government reportedly surrendered their chemical weapons in 2014 but continued the war using other weapons. Later in 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant became the most powerful opposing army, controlling more territory than the Syrian government itself.
Russia, for whom President Assad’s survival is critical to maintaining its interests in Syria, launched an air campaign in September 2015 with the aim of “stabilising” the government. Moscow stressed that it would target only “terrorists”, but activists said its strikes repeatedly hit Western-backed rebel groups and civilian areas.
The intervention has turned the tide of the war in Mr Assad’s favour. Intense Russian air and missile strikes were decisive in the battle for rebel-held eastern Aleppo in late 2016, while Russian special forces and mercenaries helped break the long-running IS siege of Deir al-Zour in September 2017.