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What began as another Arab Spring uprising against an autocratic ruler has mushroomed into a brutal proxy war that has drawn in regional and world powers.

How’s this all going to end?

No one knows, really. While plenty of countries (including Germany, the U.K., Iran, Russia, France and the U.S.) have tried to offer support to one side or the other to try to end the conflict, there’s been little success.

What ever happens this war is developing into a war that is going to have far reaching  unseen effects not only on the Middle East but on the World. (Not to mention the balance of world power.)

So it important that we see it as such.

To the victor go the spoils:

That might be true for most other wars, but the Syrian conflict has proven to be far outside the established norms and conventions governing the conduct of battle . (That is if you are of the opinion that such things exist in a modern warfare.)

In Syria the spoils are going to whoever has a gun, and there are plenty of those about.

How did it all Start?

In March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa some teenagers painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. THEY WERE ARRESTED AND TORTURED which lead to Pro-democracy protests which were fired on by security forces killing several demonstrators leading to more demonstrations triggering nationwide protests demanding President Assad’s resignation.

By July 2011, hundreds of thousands were taking to the streets across the country.

Violence escalated and the country descended into civil war as rebel brigades were formed to battle government forces for control of cities, towns and the countryside. Fighting reached the capital Damascus and second city of Aleppo in 2012.

Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with the nerve agent sarin were fired at several agricultural districts around Damascus. Western powers, outraged by the attack, said it could only have been carried out by Syria’s government.

The regime and its ally Russia blamed rebels.

Facing the prospect of US military intervention, President Assad agreed to the complete removal or destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal as part of a joint mission led by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The destruction of chemical agents and munitions was completed a year later.

By June 2013, the UN said 90,000 people had been killed in the conflict.

However, by August 2014 that figure had more than doubled to 191,000 – and continued to climb to 220,000 by March 2015, according to activists and the UN. Despite the operation, the OPCW has since documented the use of toxic chemicals, such as chlorine and ammonia, by the government in attacks on rebel-held northern villages between April and July 2014 that resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people.

The conflict has now acquired sectarian overtones, pitching the country’s Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect, and drawn in neighboring countries and world powers.

The rise of the jihadist groups, including Islamic State, has added a further dimension.

Both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes – including murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances.

The so-called Islamic State has also been accused by the UN of waging a campaign of terror in northern and eastern Syria.

It has inflicted severe punishments on those who transgress or refuse to accept its rule, including hundreds of public executions and amputations. Its fighters have also carried out mass killings of rival armed groups, members of the security forces and religious minorities, and beheaded hostages, including several Westerners.

Almost 4 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, most of them women and children.

It is one of the largest refugee exodus in recent history.

Neighboring countries have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis, with Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey struggling to accommodate the flood of new arrivals.

A further 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced within the country, bringing the total number forced to flee their homes to more than 11 million – half the country’s pre-crisis population.

Overall, an estimated 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children, the UN says.

In December 2014, the UN launched an appeal for $8.4bn (£5.6bn) to provide help to 18 million Syrians, after only securing about half the funding it asked for in 2014.

Four in every five Syrians were now living in poverty – 30% of them in abject poverty. Syria’s education, health and social welfare systems are also in a state of collapse.

The armed rebellion has evolved significantly since its inception. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Islamists and jihadists, whose brutal tactics have caused widespread concern and triggered rebel infighting.

Capitalising on the chaos in the region, IS or ISIS or ISIL – the extremist group that grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq – has taken control of huge swathes of territory across northern and eastern Syria, as well as neighboring Iraq.

Its many foreign fighters in Syria are now involved in a “war within a war”, battling rebels and jihadists from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, who object to their tactics, as well as Kurdish and government forces.

In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Syria in an effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” IS, ultimately helping the Kurds repel a major assault on the northern town of Kobane. However, the coalition has little influence on the ground in Syria and its primacy is rejected by other groups, leaving the country without a convincing alternative to the Assad government.

In January 2014, the US, Russia and UN convened a conference in Switzerland to implement the 2012 Geneva Communique, an internationally-backed agreement that called for the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria formed on the basis of mutual consent. The talks, which became known as Geneva II, broke down in February after only two rounds.

So who is backing who?

Iran and Russia have propped up the Alawite-led government of President Assad and gradually increased their support, providing it with an edge that has helped it make significant gains against the rebels. The government has also enjoyed the support of Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement, whose fighters have provided important battlefield support since 2013.

The Sunni-dominated opposition has, meanwhile, attracted varying degrees of support from its main backers – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Arab states along with the US, UK and France. However, the rise of hard-line Islamist rebels and the arrival of jihadists from across the world has led to a marked cooling of international and regional backing.

The US is now supposed to be arming a 5,000-strong force of “moderate” rebels to take the fight to IS on the ground in Syria, and its aircraft provide significant support to Kurdish militia seeking to defend three autonomous enclaves in the country’s north.

September 2015 Russia openly (in the United Nations) declares its supports for President Assad under the umbrella of tackling ISIS.  On 30 September, Russia’s parliament approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to launch air strikes in Syria. Within hours, the country’s first intervention in the Middle East in decades began. The following day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov clarified that the air campaign was targeting “all terrorists” in Syria, and not just IS.

But the US and its allies noted that the strikes took place where IS had little or no presence. They instead appeared to be aimed at rebels backed by Gulf Arab and Western states who are advancing on Latakia province – the coastal heartland of Mr Assad’s Alawite sect. At least one group that has been armed and trained by the CIA was hit. Says the Americans.

Russia has made clear that its intervention was approved by Mr Assad, who sent a letter to Mr Putin requesting military assistance. “By supporting Assad and seemingly taking on everyone who is fighting Assad, you’re taking on the whole rest of the country of Syria.”

The Russian president is one of Mr Assad’s most important international backers.

Ties between their countries go back four decades and the Syrian port of Tartous is the location of the last Russian naval base in the Middle East.

Russia has blocked several resolutions critical of Mr Assad at the UN Security Council and supplied weapons to the Syrian military, saying it is violating no international laws.

We are now facing new kind of mentality that rules those people doing the fighting in Syria, a complete disregard for the lives and property of ordinary civilians. This goes for both sides in the war.

The fortunes of some are fast accumulating, while the rest of the nation languishes in dreary poverty and destitution, waiting for an end to the greed and hatred that fuels this seemingly never-ending nightmare.

There’s also tons of conflict among European countries about what their responsibilities are and whether anything could’ve been done to prevent the Civil War and the massive loss of life. There are understandable hesitations, strategic rivalries and unwillingness to take on financial commitment, making it impossible to pursue potential solutions.

There is one thing for sure we would be better off legalizing the migration process in order to leave the slave traders of the 21st century empty-handed.

Why?, because there is growing major culture of fear and suspicion when it comes to Muslim refugees.

The struggle in Syria could be ended in one way only.

And that is when the US and Russia with Europe countries agree and support one man to take Bashar Alassad place.

But unfortunately this won’t happen because the U.S government believes that he is the best person to keep Israel safe from Syria. While Russia (which has been crippled by sanctions due to Ukraine ) see it as an opportunity to unshackle itself for isolation and a opportunity to boost its economy.

assadgraf, cc Flickr thierry ehrmann This was once just a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis in the wider Arab world, especially in Syria and Iraq. Now it is turning into a free for all. The consequences of which will be only seen by those left alive.

Meanwhile, the failure to understand the ‘Arab Spring’ for what it was facilitated the destruction of Syria’s delicate balance such that the Islamic State represents the first real challenge to the Middle East which emerged from the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, under which the British and French empires secretly agreed to divide the Middle East domains of the dying Ottoman Empire between them.

As for the military route, proposed by several Conservative political leaders, masking as armchair generals, air raids are clearly insufficient yet no government wants to send ground troops.

Syria could remain at war for years.

There remains one more danger to the Free World ( for lack of a better noun) and that is the pressing of a nuclear button which will resolve the war leaving nothing to fight about. 

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