The Syrian conflict has been going on for almost 4 years. This war is one of the most bloody in the 21st century. The victims of the war in Syria are estimated at hundreds of thousands, more than two million people have become refugees. Dozens of countries were involved in the conflict.
Background of the conflict
Syria occupies the 87th place on the world map in terms of the scale of the territory. By early 2011, almost 20 million people lived in this country. Most of the population is a Sunni. Christians and Alawites are also widely represented, who are in power in the country. In the north and east of Syria, Kurds, who profess Islam, live.
The Baath party is in power, which used to dominate the territory of Iraq (before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by American troops). The entire power elite is almost entirely composed of Alawites. In the country for more than 50 years, the regime of state of emergency, which limited some civil liberties. In 2010, Syria was overwhelmed by a serious crisis. Many people lost their jobs, social security deteriorated. Along with this , the Arab Spring was already raging in neighboring countries .
A few months before the first clashes, the opposition held several protests. The demands on them were varied, and the behavior of the protesters was relatively peaceful. But at this time the United States of America and the European Union began to actively sponsor political forces in the country that were opposed to the regime of Bashar Assad. Asad ruled the country since 2000.
Various social networks played an important role in the beginning of the riots. In January, the Syrian segment of Facebook was literally awash with calls for anti-government protests on February 4. Oppositionists called this date "Day of Wrath". The supporter of Assad stated that the administration of the social network intentionally blocks pro-government communities.
Start of escalation
At the end of winter in many cities thousands of people took to the streets. They did not act as a united front, their demands did not show a clear course. But everything changed dramatically when protesters and law enforcement agencies clashed in fierce battles. A few days later, information was received about the dead policemen. Such events forced Assad to conduct a partial mobilization of the armed forces and concentrate them near the areas of congestion of the opposition.
At the same time, the opposition enlists the support of the West and the countries of the Persian Gulf. The formation of the "Free Syrian Army" begins. Its backbone includes representatives of the political wing of the protesters, as well as deserters from the Syrian Armed Forces. On the money received from the outside, armed combat troops of the opposition are armed.
Islamization of conflict
Somewhere in April, radical Islamists join the opposition. After a while, there are terrorist attacks. An unknown suicide bomber kills high-ranking figures of the Syrian army. The army and security services of the country are launching several operations against the opposition. The free Syrian army captures several large settlements. They are immediately blocked by Assad's troops. In uncontrolled areas, electricity and water are turned off. The first serious battles take place in Damascus. The Syrian government decides to abandon the use of a regular army and resorts to mobile special forces. They quickly eliminate the skeletons of armed groups, after which the mopping-up takes place. Such actions bear fruit - more and more territories are returned under the control of the government.
At the same time, political reforms are taking place. Bashar Assad dissolves the Cabinet and appoints the first election. Nevertheless, the Syrian conflict continues to grow. Damascus is partly involved in the opposition, which uses suicide bombers to fight the government.
At the end of 2011, the Syrian conflict is increasingly becoming the focus of Western media attention. Many countries are beginning to assist the opposition. The EU and the US impose sanctions against Syria, significantly reducing the country's income from oil sales. On the other hand, Arab monarchies impose a trade embargo. Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and other countries are beginning to sponsor and arm the Free Army. The economic situation is rapidly deteriorating, as a significant part of income, in addition to foreign trade, was brought by the tourism sector.
Turkey is one of the first countries that openly intervened in the Syrian conflict. It provides military assistance and sends advisers to the opposition. Also, the first bombardment of positions of the Syrian government army begins. The answer followed immediately. The Assad regime deploys air defense systems on its territory that knock down a Turkish fighter. Bashar himself claims that he is ready for dialogue with all sides, but does not understand why the war in Syria is so worried about the US and other countries.
Assistance to the Assad regime
By the winter of 2012 it was already clear that the Syrian conflict was a full-fledged war. At the call of the Syrian government's help, his long-time allies responded, which, after the "Arab Spring," there is not much left. Iran has given huge support to Assad. The Islamic Republic sent military advisers from the famous IRGC service to train militia units. At first the government refused such an idea, fearing that uncontrolled paramilitary groups would only intensify the glow in society.
Also, the fighters of Hezbollah arrive from Iran and other countries. This organization is considered terrorist in some European countries and in the United States. Representatives of the "Party of Allah" (literal translation of "Hezbollah") are Shiite Islamists. They take part in all major battles, because they have extensive experience in conducting combat operations. The armed conflict aroused civil patriotism in many residents of the western part of Syria. They began to actively join the pro-Asad militarized groups. Some units are communist.
The chronicle of the civil war in Syria clearly demonstrates that the greatest escalation occurred after the beginning of foreign intervention. In 2013, the territory of Shama (the traditional name of Syria) was divided into several parts. Active hostilities sowed fear and hatred among the population, which led to the creation of a variety of different groups, many of which are fighting on one side or the other.
In 2014 the world learned about the terrorist organization "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant". This grouping appeared more than 10 years ago, after the US invasion of Iraq. At first it was a branch of Al-Qaeda and had no serious influence.
To do this, they needed only a few thousand militants. About 800 people entered the city and rebelled at the same time as they came from outside. Further, in the summer of 2014, IGIL captured many settlements in the district of Mosul and proclaimed the creation of a caliphate. Due to the powerful propaganda work, IGIL recruits supporters from all over the world. According to various estimates, the number of militants can reach 200 thousand people. After the seizure of almost a third of Syria, the radicals began to call themselves simply the "Islamic state", aiming at the formation of a world caliphate.
In the battles IG is actively using the so-called shahids - suicide bombers.
Although IG operates on the territory of many countries, analysts agree that the creation of such a group gave birth to the Syrian conflict. The reasons are called different. The most common version is the desire of the Persian monarchs to extend their influence to the Middle East.
The "Islamic state" is guilty of a number of terrorist attacks in various countries of the world. More than 80 victims were killed after the attack on the hotel in Tunisia. In the fall of 2015, the target of the militants was France. The attack on the editorial board of the magazine "Charlie Edbo", where a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad was published, became the top theme of all world media. The French government has assured that after the terrorist attacks will take unprecedented security measures. But despite this, in November Paris was again attacked. Several groups staged explosions and chaotic shooting in the streets of the city. As a result, 130 people died, more than 300 received serious injuries.
On October 31, a Russian plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. As a result, 224 people died. A few hours after the world media reported on the tragedy, the group "Islamic State" took responsibility for what happened.
The Role of Kurdistan
Kurds are a 30 million people in the Middle East. They belong to the descendants of Iranian-speaking tribes. Most Kurds are moderate Muslims. Many Kurdish communities live as secular societies. Also a large percentage of Christians and representatives of other religions. Kurds do not have their own independent state, but the territory of their resettlement is traditionally called Kurdistan. Syria on the map of Kurdistan is a significant part.
Kurds are very often called a third party in the Syrian Civil War. The fact is that this people has been fighting for its independence for many years. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, some Kurds have supported anti-government protests. With the advent of the IG, the Kurdish territory was threatened with seizure. Islamic radicals brutally dealt with the local population, which prompted him to actively join the Peshmerga series.
They enjoy considerable support from the rest of Kurdistan. The working party, which operates on the territory of Turkey, regularly sends volunteers and material assistance. The Turks are actively fighting this organization, as it threatens the territorial integrity of the country. The Kurdish minority makes up about 20% of the total population of Turkey. And among him are separatist sentiments. At the same time, most of the Kurdish formations profess leftist or even radical-communist views, which does not fit into the nationalist internal course of President Erdogan. In the ranks of Peshmerga regularly come volunteers leftist views from the countries of the European Union (mainly Germany and Spain) and Russia.
US role: Syria, the war
Such a major conflict could not but fall into the sight of the United States of America. The contingent of NATO troops has been in Iraq for a long time. Since the very beginning of the crisis, the States have provided tremendous support to the Syrian opposition. Also among the first to impose sanctions against the government of Assad. In 2013, Americans talked about the possibility of a direct invasion using a land group, but then abandoned this idea under Russian pressure.
In 2014, the US, as part of the anti-terrorist coalition, began bombing the positions of the Islamic state. Near Syria is one of the main allies of the Americans in the East - Turkey. The Kurdish militia repeatedly accused the coalition of attacking its positions under the guise of shelling the IG.
Syrian conflict: the role of Russia
Russia has also been involved in the civil war since its inception. Russia has a unique military base in Syria . And with the government of Assad, friendly relations have been established, which have been stretching since the times of the USSR. Russia, along with the DPRK, Iran and Venizuela, are providing military support to government troops. All this is done to preserve peace in the region. In 2014, Russia began active operations in Sham. Within a few weeks, the military presence was significantly increased.
The essence of the Syrian conflict lies in the attempt of foreign states to maintain or improve their positions in the Middle East. The Islamic state quite often becomes just a pretext for the introduction of troops into the territory of Syria. And the enemies of the friendly regimes in the region become the real reason. At the moment, in the civil war, there are 3 serious forces that can not win and are not going to lose. Therefore, the conflict will continue for quite some time.