Well, Syria is the most vulnerable country in present time, and effectively can be a major reason that leads to World War III. There is an ongoing cold war in Syria where more than 300 thousand people have lost their lives since 2011 and it’s still counting. It began with an anti-government protest that later turned into a massacre where thousands have lost their lives and millions have been displaced.
Under the tenure of President Bashar al-Assad, Syrians have complained about high unemployment, corruption and lack of political freedom. In 2011, a bunch of teenagers was arrested and tortured for painting anti-government slogans on the school wall. This led to a revolt against the forces and the government, post which security forces opened fire killing several people. More people came on the streets and demanded President Assad to resign. The government used deadly force to suppress the dispute but it created a nationwide protest.
Eventually, the protest turned into civil war. In July 2011, defectors from the military announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group aiming to overthrow the government, people picked up weapons against the government and joined the opposition. The violence that started in the southern city of Deraa in 2011 reached the capital Damascus and the second city Aleppo in 2012.
Initially the war was just a battle between the supporters and the opposition of Mr Assad but things changed. Minority religious groups tended to support Mr Assad but the majority Sunni Muslim were against him. The war took a religious turn that attracted many world powers and then the rise of Islamic State added a new dimension.
Islamic State has claimed over a large area in Syria and Iraq, and proclaims the creation of Caliphate. A coalition led by the US government has bombed targets of ISIS since 2014. US has cleared its position against the Assad government and had launched missiles on Assad’s forces, after the government used chemical weapons in 2013, which was stated as crossing the “red line” by former US President Barack Obama. Other world powers Turkey and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia have joined US to support the rebels.
On the other side, Assad forces have been backed up by Russia, for whom President Assad’s survival is critical to maintaining its interests in Syria. Shia powered Iran has believed to be investing billions of dollars to support the government, while Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah has also sent thousands of fighters to support the government forces.
It’s been more than six years of war, and it has already claimed more than 450,000 lives, while more than 6 million people are displaced from the country. Human rights violation has crossed limits, there is no availability of basic amenities like food and water. Majority of the population are living as refugees in their own country while others have escaped to neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey or Iraq.
As neither side were able to proclaim a win over the other, the UN proposed to resolve this politically, and UN Security Council called for implementation of 2012 Geneva Communique. The peace talk was conducted in two to three rounds, but was never successful.
The proxy war still continues till date as both the parties is in stalemate position. Many countries are helping the common people with food and emergency supplies. We on the other side of the world, hope for the war to end soon and for Syria to achieve peace.
Source: Google, BBC, Al Jazeera, Mercy Corps