How did it start?
The Syrian Civil War started in March 2011. The demonstrations were similar to the demonstrations in other Arab countries. The citizens of Syria wanted their President Bashar-Al-Asad to resign, as his family has held the leadership of Syria since 1971. The Syrians now wanted a perfectly democratic government in their country. After some days, when the demonstrations didn’t stop, President, Bashar-Al-Asad asked the Syrian army to open fire on the peaceful protesters. And from this point onwards it became an armed rebellion.
But that civil war has now turned into a conflict of global dimensions playing out in Syria.
Who all are involved presently?
- Government of Syria
- Jayash Al Islam, Ahrar Al Sham etc. (The Syrian rebel groups)
- The Kurds
- The ISIS
How did so many parties get involved in this?
- Russia: President Asad is Russia’s closest ally in the middle east. If he fell, Russia will lose its foothold in that region. It may also lose Tartus, Russia’s port in Syria on the Mediterranean Sea.
- Iran: It is a very close friend of Syria. But the main reason is to counter the influence of Saudi Arabia in that region.
- The Kurds: These people do not have a place for themselves. They were fighting for a region, north of Syria called Rojava, and took its control. Their main fight has always been for autonomy and against the ISIS. They are armed and allied with the USA.
- Jayash Al Islam, Ahrar Al Sham etc. (The rebel groups): They have taken up arms against the Asad regime after the Syrian army got involved. They are people who were with the army, civilians and some professionals too. Their main aim is to remove Bashar Al Asad.
- ISIS: It is a brutal, violent terrorist group. It held large regions of Iran and Syria. However, it has been kicked out from most of the region by the Kurdish fighters, Iranian and Syrian army and the US army.
- USA: On various occasions, the USA has spoken that Bashar Al Asad should leave but it has done little to make it happen. Maybe, because it feared that ISIS would replace him. The USA supplied the Kurdish fighters with arms and fought alongside them against the ISIS.
- Turkey: One of its main roles has been giving shelter to the fleeing Syrians. It supported the rebel groups too. Turkey fears Kurdish autonomy in Syria as it fears it would fuel separatism in Turkey and has been in war with the Kurdish fighters claiming them to be terrorists. Since the Kurdish fighters are allied with the USA, Turkey is now working closely with Russia.
- Israel: It is fighting in the South. Its main concern is the rise of the Iranian influence and its militia group, Hezbollah. Both the countries are an antithesis to each other.
Russia and Iran have supported the Asad government in every way possible and crushed all the opposing forces in such a manner that no one now talks of removing Bashar Al Asad.
But using Syria as a ground for proxy wars needs to be stopped. Syria used to be a beautiful country with old Islamic architectures, cultures and traditions. The common people of Syria are suffering a lot with no mistake of their own.
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