Syria at war

by Rashi Agarwal

Syria is a country in Western Asia, and the Syrian civil war, also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis, is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria.

Why the war?

A peaceful uprising against Bashar al Assad, the president of Syria, seven years ago turned into a full-scale civil war. Even before the protests began, the citizens were complaining about high rates of unemployment and corruption and wanted to oust the president, who had taken over the leadership after his father passed away in 2000. In March 2000, pro-democracy demonstrations started which the president crushed using deadly force. This led to nationwide protests for his resignation. The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war.

How many dead?

More than half a million people are said to have been killed or are missing in this deadly ongoing war. It has left 1.5 million people with permanent disabilities and 86,000 have lost limbs.At least 6.6 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.6 million have fled abroad. Earlier it was shootings which was replaced by mortar- attacks in the bloodiest period in 2012 and has now moved onto aerial strikes.

Who is involved?

The war has now become more about who is with president Assad and who is against. The government’s key supporters are Russia and Iran, while the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia back the rebels.

Will it end?

Currently, the Syrian government has launched a massive offensive with air strikes in Idlib, supposedly the last rebel-held enclave in Syria. The United Nations (UN) has commented that it could be the “worst humanitarian catastrophe” of the 21st century, with the way Syrian and Russian troops are charging in on Idlib. Nine rounds of UN-mediated peace talks – known as the Geneva II process – since 2014 have shown little progress. President Assad does not want to negotiate at all with the opposition, who want him to step down. A bleak future for Syria looks down upon us, unless there is some political solution.

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