Civil war in Syria: What it is, how it began and what its consequences

More than 400,000 deaths and five million refugees are the balance of Syria’s civil war, which has been going on for six years. The conflict involves several internal currents and has already received the intervention of several other countries. Understand what it is, how it began and what the consequences of this unrestrained violence.

According to Agência Brasil EBC, everything started in 2010, when some countries in the Middle East and Africa promoted what became known as the ‘Arab Spring’.

In practice, residents have risen against the abuses of dictatorial regimes in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Angola and Syria.

The Arab Spring resulted in the fall of some dictators as in Egypt and Tunisia. However in places such as Syria and Yemen, resulted in the beginning of civil wars.

Syrian Repression at the Arab Spring

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad strongly suppressed the Arab Spring protests and this eventually strengthened the opposition, especially the more radical groups. The latter accused the government of not defending the interests of Islam.

One of them was the Islamic State, which continued the attacks even after the fury of the Arab Spring in the rest of the nations. The rebels’ assaults were successful and they eventually conquered various Syrian territories, including the capital Damascus and cities like Aleppo, Khanaser and Palmira.

Faction formation

The result of these taken were many civilian deaths and the clash of the forces of the government against the radicals, that also were divided throughout the war forming diverse factions. Today, in addition to fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, these radicals also fight each other.

In order to continue to confront the Syrian dictator for so many years, radical groups, such as the Islamic State, rely on funding from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are interested in the fall of the official regime. Syrian territory is coveted on account of its access to the Mediterranean Sea, a major oil route.

Involvement of other countries in the Syrian War

Other countries also became involved in the Syrian conflict. Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad. US President Donald Trump, who also seemed to sympathize with the dictator, changed his position shortly after a chemical weapons attack killed 82 people, including 27 innocent children, in April 2017.

As a result, the US military decided to intervene not only against terrorist groups that haunt many Western nations, but also to send missiles to a military base of Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The future of the conflict is uncertain, especially after the recent events. Meanwhile, the rest of the world remains shocked by the ravages of civil war in Syria and humanitarian organizations call for an end to the conflict immediately.

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