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The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria, which began as a peaceful revolution

inspired by the Arab Spring, which toppled ME dictators in other Arab countries including Tunisia
and Libya. The war is between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba'ath Party government and those
seeking to oust it. The unrest began on 15 March 2011, with demonstrations by protesters
demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, and the relinquishment of power by the
Ba'ath Party, which has ruled Syria since 1971.
In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the demonstrations, and did so by opening
fire on civilian protesters. Assad regime used an ultra loyalist group made of hard core Alawites
called Shabbhia or "ghosts". This group led by Maher Assad, Basher's brother, led the violent
crackdown on protesters. As the crackdowns ensued, some of the SAA defected to form the FSA
or Free Syrian Army, as they refused orders to shoot protesters. The FSA was formed with the
stated intention of protecting the Syrian people from the regime and overthrowing Assad, and by
the end of the year the unrest had deteriorated into a complete armed rebellion, with an influx of
both weapons and fighters from outside the country bolstering opposition forces . However, the
opposition has remained fractured, both politically and militarily, into groups representing a wide
spectrum of positions, from those advocating non-violence and dialogue with the Ba'ath Party, to
those supporting violent subversion and all-out war against the state. The Syrian government
characterizes the insurgency as an uprising of "armed terrorist groups and foreign mercenaries".
The conflict has had no clear fronts, with clashes taking place in many towns and cities across
the country.
Until late 2011 the armed conflict had not reached the biggest cities of Damascus and Aleppo,
but in mid-2012 full-scaled urban battle began in Damascus, followed by the even more
deadly battle of Aleppo. On 15 July 2012, the International Committee of the Red
Cross assessed the Syrian conflict as a "non-international armed conflict" (the ICRC's legal term
for civil war), thus applying international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions to both
sides in the conflict. Throughout that year, however, the civil war degenerated further into a
regional conflict, and in late 2012 the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra had
achieved growing influence within the opposition military forces, while the Lebanonbased Hezbollah had entered the war in support of the Syrian government.
International opponents of the Syrian government, most notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar in
Arabia, and the United Kingdom and France in Europe, responded to the conflict by focussing
increasingly on what they regarded as the state's violation of human rights.
Meanwhile, Iran and Russia, which both have ties of friendship with the Syrian government, have
provided an increasing counterweight to this position, and Russia has shown readiness to supply
weaponry to the state if necessary. For its part, the Arab League suspended Syria's membership
because of what is regarded as the government's disproportionately violent response to the
crisis, and granted Syria's seat on 6 March 2013 to the Syrian National Coalition, one of the main
factions of the rebellion.

The war degenerated into a stalemate in early 2013, with both sides making limited advances in
different places. According to the UN, the conflict was becoming "overtly sectarian in nature",
though both the opposition forces and the Syrian government deny that sectarianism plays any
key role in the conflict. On 2 January 2013, the United Nations released an estimate that the
war's death toll had exceeded 60,000; by 15 May, this figure was updated to 80,000. According
to various sources, between 70,000 and 90,000 people have been killed, of which up to half were
civilians. By October 2012, up to 28,000 people had been reported missing, including civilians
forcibly abducted by both opposition groups and government forces. According to the UN, about
4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country, and as many as 1.5 million Syrian
refugees have fled to neighboring countries. International organizations have accused both
government and opposition forces of severe human rights violations, and accusations have been
made against both sides of illegally using chemical weaponry.
More about the Syrian Civil War...

Selected article

The Islamic Front (Arabic: , al-Jabhat al-Islmiyyah) is a merger of seven rebel

groups involved in the Syrian civil war, that was announced on 22 November 2013. An
anonymous spokesman for the group has stated that it will not have ties with the Syrian National
Coalition, though a member of the political bureau of the group, Ahmad Musa, has stated that he
hopes for recognition from the Syrian National Council in cooperation for what he suggested "the
Syrian people want. They want a revolution and not politics and foreign agendas. The group is
widely seen as backed and armed by Saudi Arabia.

Incidents and events



Foreign involvement


Muslims and Christians at a meeting with Arab League monitors in Damascus on 17 January 2012.

International diplomacy

International reactions to the Syrian Civil War

List of United Nations resolutions concerning Syria

Peace proposals

Arab League Monitors in Syria (2011-2012)

Special Envoy Kofi Annan

United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria

Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi

Special envoy Staffan de Mistura

Russia's role in the Syrian conflict

U.S.Russia peace proposals on Syria

39th G8 summit

Bashar al-Assad
Maher al-Assad (WIA)
Fahd Jassem al-Freij
Ali Abdullah Ayyoub
Issam Hallaq
Ghassan Ismail
Mohammad al-Shaar (WIA)
George Sabra
Ghassan Hitto
Salim Idris
Mustafa al-Sheikh

Riad al-Asaad (WIA)

Moaz al-Khatib
Abdulbaset Sieda
Burhan Ghalioun
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Omar al-Shishani
Abu Mohammad al-Golani (WIA)
Abu Yusuf Al-Turki
Salih Muslim Muhammad


Impact on historic heritage

Damaged heritage sites

Displaced and refugees

Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Sep. 2012.

Syrian refugees
Refugee camps
Human rights violations

Related portals


Arab world

International relations



Middle East


Social movements



Selected biography

Staffan Domingo de Mistura (born 25 January 1947 inStockholm, Sweden) is

a long-serving Italian-Swedish diplomat and former member of the Italian
government. After a 40 year career in various United Nations agencies,[1] he was
appointedUndersecretary of State (Junior Minister) for Foreign Affairs in
the Italian cabinet headed by Mario Monti. He is currently the director of Villa
San Michele on Capri[2] and United Nations special envoy for the Syria crisis. [3]
De Mistura's previous UN posts have included that of Special Representative of
the Secretary-General in Iraq (20072009) and Afghanistan (20102011),
Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for Southern Lebanon (2001
2004), and Director of the UN Information Center in Rome (20002001). His
work has taken him to many of the World's most volatile trouble-spots
includingAfghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and the former