Complexity of the Syrian War

by Sylwia Heller

Civil war in Syria is very complicated as many parties are involved and their motivations vary. Some people believe that the best results can be achieved through politics while others that humanitarian help is the best solution. So, what is really happening in Syria and how can it be stopped?

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011 in Deraa with pro-democracy protests. These protests were triggered by the fact that a few teenagers painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Security forces shot some of the protesters. Since then, nationwide protests including hundreds of thousands of protesters were taking place with demands that President Assad resigns from his position.

With these protests a civil war between the government forces and rebels began. By August 2015 250,000 people have been killed, according to the UN. The war in Syria also involves Alawite sect and the jihadist group. It is not clear-cut about who the victims are and what motivations of those who fight are. This is because all parties to the conflict committed genocide in the form of murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances, as the UN claims. Besides, access to water, food and healthcare has also been limited as a part of the crime.

The Islamic State as a party to the conflict was especially blamed for massacres by the UN. The latter claims that Islamic State punishes severely those who do not convert to Islam and who refuse to follow their rules. It involves public executions and amputations of hundreds of people. Moreover, the IS committed mass killings of religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, of other armed groups’ members and of members of the security forces.

During this conflict 4.5 million people have left Syria causing serious humanitarian crisis. During the war the prevailing opinion amongst politicians was that only political actions would change the situation in Syria. One of such actions was initiated by the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura who established a series of ceasefires of which some were successful.

Then, proximity talks started in Geneva in January 2016 where representatives of governments could discuss options of achieving peace and ceasefire. The conflict in Syria lasts with other states getting involved. Russia’s involvement in politics of Syria is especially significant because it shows support for President Assad with campaigns against his opponents.

The civil war in Syria is long-lasting which costs people’s lives. One would wonder whether force should be used or Syrians provided with weapons to be able to fight. The conflict is so complex that it is not easy to find a solution to the crisis.

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