Written By Prisha Jain (Grade 7)
Syria is a country surrounded by Turkey on the North, Iraq in the East, Jordan on the South and Lebanon and Israel in the Southwest. Syria is located on the coast of the Mediterranean sea.
Ideally, Syria is supposed to be a democracy but ever since, Hafeez Al Assad came to power in 1970, it practically turned into a dynasty rule. Assad’s family has been ruling since 1970. Earlier Hafeez Al Assad was ruling, now his son Bashar Al Assad is ruling. The Assad family is Alawite Muslims, whereas the major population of Syria is Sunni Muslims. Assads’ have been supressing the Sunni majority to stay in power.
In 2011, many anti-government uprisings happened across the Middle East. These uprisings are referred to as Arab uprisings. The incident started the Tunisian revolution throughout many Arab countries. The Tunisian revolution was basically anti-Government protests. This also started uprising against Assad in Syria but Government hushed it down with strong measures. This led to violence and start of the civil war.
Assad had many international allies, one of them being Iran. Iran is a Shiite Muslim majority. The Alwites and Shiites have always had good relations and to maintain them, Iran is helping Assad. Iran also has influence over Assad which would be over if Sunni Muslims came to power. Another reason for Iran is that Syria is geographically close to Israel, Iran’s enemy. Hezbollah terrorist organisation is also supporting Assad. Hezbollah is Iran’s proxy, which means substitute. Iraq is also helping Assad because they fear a Sunni Muslim controlled Syria. Russia is also supporting Assad, to protect its military bases and also to oppose Western countries. It also expects Syria’s support in return.
The opposition includes allies of different groups and international help. The United States is supporting the rebels. The US is providing financial support to the rebels. It is also training them and giving them weapons. Two Jihadist groups have also joined, the Nusra front and the ISIS, also known as the Islamic State. Both of these groups operate separately but both want to overthrow Assad and create an Islamic caliphate, beyond Syria. The Free Syrian Army is also against Assad.
The US is mainly trying to control the ISIS because the ISIS wishes to create a Sunni State which would cause inconvenience to the US. On one side you have got the US and the ISIS both opposing Assad. Yet, the US is also opposing the ISIS though they are both technically on the same side. This goes to show you how complicated the situation really is. The groups can’t trust anyone, not even those on their side. This is what weakens the rebels. They are not united. This proves the saying, “united we stand, divided we fall.” Though we don’t know the outcome yet. The opposition is driven by similar goals, but each group has its own motive which causes mistrust.
Assad wants to maintain his rule over Syria. You cannot blame him. Still, his army strategies have severely violated many human rights, which gives instability to his army. The situation in Syria is grave and cannot be ignored. Political figures need to come together, use their power and put an end to the war.
I personally feel that this war was inevitable. The way that Assad was silencing people and taking away their democratic freedom was bound to cause tension. The Syrian war is going to have a big effect on the country and its development. It might also become the next big war, if countries continue to take sides. I also feel that this war might never end because no matter what the outcome of this one, the other side will continue to fight.
So, in conclusion, I would like to say that the Syrian Civil War is not an ignorable war. It has a chance of becoming a bigger war than it already is, if countries continue to take sides. This war is also killing billions of innocent civilians, every war does. This war is trampling and crushing the future of Syria, the people of Syria, even the children who have no part at all in this are dying. Every war causes massive destruction, the longer it goes on the worse it is.
Featured Image Courtesy – Deccan Herald