Here is a brief and simple Timeline of the Syrian Civil War:
– 18th December 2010: Arab Spring movement starts off in Tunis, triggering the Tunisian Revolution
– January 2011: Start of peaceful demonstrations against the government
– March 18th 2011: Use of violence against peaceful protesters
– April 2011: Mass protests, considered the start of the Syrian Civil War
– July 29th 2011: Seven Syrian army officials create the FSA
– December 2011: US withdrawal of troops in Iraq
– April & May 2012: Ceasefire attempt
– July to October 2012: Battles of Damascus & Aleppo
– June 3rd 2014: Presidential elections held: Assad stays in power
– Present: Continued fighting
As a result of the Syrian Civil War, over 200 000 people have lost their lives.
As living conditions worsen by the day and safety becomes scarce, millions are forced to leave the country or enter the conflict.
Millions of others had been forced to move and exile, with the number of refugees rising up to 3 000 000 as of November 2013.
This has led to the further implication of neighbouring countries into the conflict as refugees seek shelter in mostly Turkey and Lebanon.
Furthermore, ravage and chaos has taken hold of Syria. Most of it’s major cities lay in rubble, due to the relentless bombings.
Assad is for the time being remaining as President and keeping power until further notice while the rebels keep trying to overthrow his government.
As the conflict is still unresolved, Syria’s future lies in the balance as it’s citizens await the verdict.
This war has the potential to run on for quite some time until any conclusions are reached, the only certain thing is that the death toll keeps rising day by day.
The conflict has been an international priority and with good reason.
It is a revolutionary movement which has the potential to impact millions of people across the world.
Not only the people of Syria are concerned, the entire world is also concerned.
The war is a fight against oppressive rulers and is a call for equality, freedom and human rights.
It is a revolution of the people from the Arab world and it can spread to other countries and regions in the world.
The war has the potential to expand even further into it’s neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey with the ISIS threat looming.
It is also a major war, where crimes against humanity are being committed, a concern for the International Court of Justice.
It is a cause for concern for millions of people, as it is the author of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and sectarian violence.
This has led to world organisations and countries alike to keep a close eye on the conflict and try to manage things.
The UN and the Arab League have tried to promote a diplomatic resolution by attempting to implore a ceasefire, although it was unsuccessful.
The Civil War is still on going and has the potential to have a great impact on the world, and could become a big part in human history, as the French Revolution did.
At this stage of the Syrian Civil War, there are many parties and disputes involved in the conflict.
The Assad government controls most of South while the rebels have some control in the South-East and North-East.
ISIS, also involved has taken over one third of Syria in the North and West, controlling most of the oil and gas production of the country.
Many key cities are under siege sought after through for control over the country.
In 2012, two major cities, Damascus (the Capital) and Aleppo underwent sieges from the FSA.
Damascus has been a partial victory for the rebels who were able to occupy parts of the city.
However the city centre and the airport are still under the government’s control who outnumber the rebels 15 to 1.
Aleppo is still going on as of today. It has been dubbed the “mother of all battles” and all parties are fighting for control over it.
The Civil War is still raging on today, as all sides try to determine the winner.
On the 3rd of June 2014, presidential elections were carried out in Syria.
It was the first multi-candidate elections since the Ba’ath Party took power in 1963.
Voting was not carried out throughout the country, cities under Kurdish and rebel control were not allowed to vote.
Due to the large number of Syrian Refugees, voting was conducted in Syrian embassies in foreign countries.
Bashar Al-Assad won the elections by a landslide, gaining as much as 88.7% of the votes.
World organisations such as the UN as well as countries such as the USA have labelled the elections as illegitimate.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has criticised the decision to hold elections while the country was undergoing a Civil War.
Bashar Al-Assad has won the elections for a third consecutive time, extending his time in power until 2021.
Hezbollah is a Shiite militant group as well as a political party based in Lebanon.
It has it’s own paramilitary wing, the Jihad Council, and it has been labelled by most countries and international organisations as a terrorist organisation.
In 2012, Hezbollah entered the Syrian Civil War and sided with the Syrian government.
It has helped it fight against the FSA and other Syrian opposition.
Hezbollah claims to have entered the conflict due to it’s relations with the Syrian government.
However, due to the highly sectarian nature of the Civil War, the group’s legitimate reasons are suspected.
Indeed, the Shiite group is suspected of entering the conflict due to the mainly Sunni opposition.
The Arab Winter is what people refer to when talking about the on-going violence and instability, a result of the Arab Spring.
The Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi Insurgency and the Egyptian Crisis are part of the Arab Winter.
In Egypt, there has been a restoration of an autocratic government despite having experienced a revolution which ousted the previous one.
These events go against the initial principles and ideas of the Arab Spring, thus the name Arab Winter.
The Arab Winter accounts for as many as 250 000 deaths, millions of refugees as well as 800 Billion USD (an estimate as of January 2014).
ISIS are the authors of many numerous beheadings that have been published on social media.
They have most notably decapitated three Americans, two British, at least 10 Kurds and a great number of Syrian soldiers.
These beheadings have attracted worldwide attention, which is exactly what ISIS wants.
As suicide bombers no longer produce shock and awe in the Western world, ISIS have decided to associate themselves with beheadings in order to create their reputation.
ISIS uses beheading to try and change US foreign policy as well as intimidate the world and the local population.
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The Syrian Civil War has been a deadly conflict since the very start, when Assad first fired on peaceful protesters.
All sides involved in the conflict have been accused of committing crimes against humanity due to the many massacres conducted.
The use of Sarin Gas by both sides during the conflict has also been reported by the UN.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT:
The Assad government has used it’s full military arsenal against the rebels, using Air Strikes and tanks on a daily basis leading to huge collateral damage.
As a result, the Assad government is also held responsible for most of the civilian deaths.
Syria’s neighbouring country, Iraq, has been experiencing a civil war itself which has impacted Syria.
The Iraqi Insurgency has increasingly escalated in violence since the withdrawal of US troops in the country in 2011.
Sunni militant groups have stepped up their efforts in the persecution of Shiite Muslims in order to intimidate the Shia-led government.
These Sunni extremists, notably ISIS, have been able to take control of parts of Iraq.
ISIS are now in control of Mosul, a city in Northern Iraq, and much of the Northern Iraq giving them free mobility into Syria.
As a result of ISIS’s conquest of Mosul, they have spread their fighting into Syria, wreaking more havoc into the conflict.
They are fighting against all parties, and have themselves taken control of territory and natural resources in Syria.
This has led to an increase in international fear over future events. As ISIS enters the conflict, there is potential for even more chaos and bloodshed.