Sunday, 13 May 2018

Syrian Crisis - The Middle East

Syrian Crisis - The Middle East 

The Middle East has been under threat for decades. In this series of articles, I will explain the conflicts happened in the Middle East and How developed nations dominated all the conflicts.
This is my first article in series of articles - Syrian Crisis.

Syria, Westernmost country in the Middle East. A secular nation with different religious groups 87% Islam (75% Sunny Muslims and 12% Shia Alawites Muslim group), 10% Christians, 3% Druze and small number of Mandeans, Jews. Bashar al-Assad, 19th and current president of Syria and he belongs to the only Political party of Syria the Baath Party most interestingly the members of this party are Alawite Shias. So, it’s like minority Shia’s ruling majority Sunny Muslims. This difference is the reason behind Syrian war.

Counties involved in Syrian war - Russia, Iran, America, Turkey, Israel, Saudi, Jordan

Russia and Iran support Assad regime
America supports Kurdish rebels
Saudi, Turkey, and Jordan support Sunny rebels
Israel against Hezbollah Shia group

Now you may be confused, why these countries support different groups in Syria?
Let us see WHY?

How actually Syrian war starts?

In 2011, peaceful Arab minor protests started in Syria against the autocratic ruler for demanding democratic reforms. Peaceful protest becomes massive uprising after Assad uses its army and arrested important Sunny leaders. Soon these protesters become armed rebels and Syrian civil war was started.

In 2012, rebels got support from different extremists groups in the world. Now Assad has to handle these extremists, also around that time Syrian Turkey groups take up weapons and succeed Syria’s north. These groups are Kurds, where more than 20 Millions of them across the northern region of Syria, but they never had own Kurdish state. So Kurds uses the unstable Assad government to construct their own state.

In late 2012, Assad longtime alliance Iran supports Syria indirectly through Hezbollah Shia group. Iran entry made Saudi to support rebels, mostly Sunny rebel groups (Saudi and Iran are a long time religious rivals). Now Iran spending billions of dollars to bolster Assad and providing military advisers and subsidized weapons to stop rebels. This time Turkey and Jordan also join Saudi, to support rebels. Now the war is between Shia supported Assad regime VS sunny supported rebel groups.

Civil War - War between Shia supported Assad regime VS Sunny supported rebel groups.

Why Iran supports Assad regime?

Iran Support Assad to counterattack his regional rival Saudi Arabia. Iran wants to make Shia base strong in Syria.

In 2013, America indirectly entered into war by secretly training rebels and also urges Saudi to stop funding extremists. To stop the rise of rebels Assad government uses chemical bombs in August for the first time, more than 1600 people dead. The US under Obama threatens Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to the international community to avoid Missile strike. Russia started backing Assad by launching an air campaign against Assad's opponents. After few weeks, American trained rebels joined Syrian rebels now officially America and Russia entered in the Syrian war.

Cold War - Indirect war between Capitalist America and Communist Russia. Western superpowers and capitalist countries UK, France, and Italy came in with America and supports rebel groups. Assad government is supported by communist China and Russia.

Why Russia supports Assad regime?

If Assad fell, Russia would lose its foot in the Middle East. Tartous in Syria is the only Mediterranean port for Russia.

ISIS chapter -

In early 2014, world’s biggest threat arises ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who proclaimed themselves as ‘Muslim Caliphate’. ISIS started to capture the northern states of Syria and Iraq by fighting against rebels and Kurds. Now ISIS has grown into biggest power in Syria’s northeast. The main aim of ISIS is to replace Assad regime by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi who called as ‘Caliph’, leader of ISIS.  In September 2014, America launches its own program to train and arm 5,000 Syrian Kurdish rebels. This time America targets ISIS, not Assad. In 2015, Turkey strengthens Sunny rebel forces called Free Syrian army to fight against ISIS and Kurdish rebels. In later 2015 Russia provided weapon supports to Assad regime to fight against ISIS.

Why America supports Kurdish rebels?

To pull ISIS and Assad regime out of Syria. America thought ISIS as world’s problem and Assad as America’s problem. If Assad fell, Russia has no power in the Mediterranean Sea. So, America may get complete control over West.

Why Turkey supports Sunny rebels?

Turkey fears Kurdish autonomy in Syria would fuel separatism in Turkey. This fear makes Turkey open its attack against Kurds (These are the Kurdish forces trained by America). But the main aim of Turkey is to remove ISIS from power.

Why Saudi and Jordan support Sunny rebels?

Saudi Arabia and Jordan, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has also supported extremists Sunny groups financially.

Holy War - Shai and Sunny community fight. Saudi and Jordan, Sunny countries want to remove Shia Assad out of power and to make Syria, a Sunny Governed country.

In early 2016, Israel enters into war against Hezbollah Shia’s. This Shia group working in favor of Assad regime. Hezbollah is suspected of carrying out attacks against Israeli positions on the borders to Syria and Lebanon. This makes Israel be part of the Syrian war, who mainly targets Hezbollah.

In 2016, Trump becomes the president of America and he stays away from Syria and allows Assad government to continue. Later Assad with the help of Russia and Iran knocking the rebels out of Syria.

In 2017, Russia and Assad regime again uses chemical weapons which kill nearly 100 people. Within few days of attack White House launches dozens of missiles and destroys one of the air bases in Syria and this is America’s first direct attack against Syria. Chemical weapons used by the Syrian government against Civilians provoked America to attack Assad regime directly.

In early 2018, Syrian Government again uses chemical bombs against rebels, which kills more than 500 people includes women and children. Initially, Syrian government denied the attack and claimed that "the attack did not happen and video evidence for it was staged and directed by British intelligence", but later America confirmed the attack was carried by Syria against rebels. On 14 April 2018, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom carried out a series of military strikes against multiple government sites in Syria. The airstrikes were claimed to successfully destroy the chemical weapons capabilities of Syria.

Now it was 7 years (2011 - 2018). As per BBC report, 353,900 people died including 106,000 civilians until March 2018. Even the figure did not include 56,900 people who were missing and presumed to be dead. More than 1.5 people left with permanent disabilities. At least 6.1 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.6 million have fled abroad. This is the biggest displacement in the 21st century. Consider to Syrian population, 53% of people uprooted from their homes. But still problem not solved or big powers are not ready to solve.

Is there any END?

It is really hard to say, the situations getting worse day by day and it does not seem like war will end soon. Even UN security council completed many rounds of peace talks, but no progress was shown. End is possible only if

1. Assad is ready to give up his power.
2. Opposition delegates must give up their motive.
3. Russia and America should come out of the Syrian war. 
4. Iran and Saudi should understand their religious difference.

Hope war will end soon...

Prabhu Ram

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