Syria Is Bleeding: The Horrendous Syrian Civil War

Updated on July 11, 2018
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We can finish this (Syrian War) in weeks if arms supplies and terror aid stops.

— Bashar-al-Assad (President of Syria)

When and How Syrian Civil War Started

It all started in 2011 when the Syrian opposition started demanding Bashar-al-Assad (Syrian President) to step down. They began to make their voices heard in the streets and in the parliament. Their desperation to force president Bashar-al-Assad to step down was overwhelmingly extreme. The Syrian opposition was so desperate that they started organising demonstrations against Assad. Unemployment, corruption, and lack of political freedom was the major causes of demonstrations and rightly so.

Their demand for Assad to step down for different reasons was legitimate. Their desperation to urge Assad to step down was legal. However, what is illegitimate, illegal and unlawful was when the opposition started violating the rule of law. The demand by Syrian opposition was legal and lawful when they were dealing it in the boundaries of constitution and law. Just like any other citizen they had the right to raise their voice against corruption or matters of a similar nature. They had the right to hold peaceful demonstrations against the government or the president. Unfortunately, the Syrian opposition willingly or unwillingly took the wrong path, violated the law, caused unrest in the country and dragged their country in one of the most horrible civil war in the history of the world.

On the other hand the president, Bashar-al-Assad was accused of dealing with this situation brutally. In March 2011, during the nationwide day of dignity protest, the law enforcement agencies opened fire on the protesters. Several people were wounded and killed. That particular incident was perhaps the beginning of the unrest. Following the day of dignity protest, things started to get worse. To control the violence and unrest president Assad deployed the army in different major cities, namely Damascus and Daraa.

There is no hard fact here because one side accused Bashar-al-Assad of brutally cracking down on the peaceful protesters. The other side claimed that they were not peaceful demonstrators but in fact, they were causing unrest and breaking the law. People who were against Bashar-al-Assad said that Assad is committing a crime and he should be accountable for killing civilian people. In an interview with ABC News, Barbara Walters asked president Assad, 'Mr. President, you have people in hour an a half away from here protesting. You have people who have been killed and tortured and still, they are protesting. And, you say you have the support of your people?'. President Assad replies, 'You are mixing the protesters and killings, it's different. Now we are having terrorists in many places. From the very first few weeks, we have those terrorists who are getting more aggressive. We have eleven hundred soldiers and policemen killed. Who killed them? Peaceful demonstrators? This is not logical this is unpalatable'.

Many foreign countries like USA, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, and Qatar started pressuring and accusing Assad of committing crimes against his own people. Some major western media platforms also began accusing Assad of wrongdoings. It seemed all the major powers in the world was turning against president Assad. The Syrian civil war was at its beginning so there was a lot of blame game. Nobody actually was well aware of the facts and many of the statements were assumptions and accusations. Many stories, videos, and statements have been made up. It was deliberately designed to make stories to degrade Assad and confuse the public opinion. In an interview with ABC News, Barbara Walters asked president Assad, 'What do you think is the biggest misconception that my country (USA) has of what is happening here (Syria)'?. To which he replied, 'We do not kill our own people. No government in the world kill its own people unless he is a crazy person. For me, I became the president because of the public support. It is impossible for anyone in this state to give the order to kill'.

In response to the accusations that president, Bashar-al-Assad have no plans of legally stepping down from the presidency. He made his case clear and pointed out several things of significant nature. In an interview with ABC News, Barbara Walters asked president Assad, 'If somebody else wins (in a presidential election) will you step down in 2014?'. To which president Assad replied, 'If he wins he is going to be in my position. I do not have to step down. He is going to be the president'.

Bashar-al-Assad Assad Interview with Charlie Rose (2015)

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Syrian president Bashar-al-Assad must understand that when he allows Iran and its proxies to establish its military presence in Syria, he is endangering Syria and the stability of the entire region.

— Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister of Israel)

Geopolitical Game

It has been eight years since this war has been started. To this very day, it is baffling to believe that this horrible civilian war was started with peaceful demonstrations. It is nearly impossible to believe the fact that one man is responsible for this human catastrophe. As a president of Syria Bashar-al-Assad is certainly responsible for many things. He cannot walk away from this disastrous war. He should be held accountable for the mistakes he committed.

Since eight years Syria is bleeding. The world has never seen such a humongous human and structural catastrophe in the history. A huge amount of Syrian people have been forced to leave their country. Many Syrian people have lost their lives. They saw their country bleeding. The people of Syria witnessed the destruction of their country and the killings of their fellow citizens. Today a huge number of Syrian people are living outside their country as a refugee. They are living in an abysmal situation. They lost everything they had on their land.

During this war and to this very day people are asking who gained benefits from this war. Why demonstrations were converted into terrorist acts. Why the opposition and the people who were demonstrating did not take the political, legal and democratic route. Those countries who accused Assad of committing crimes and those who supported the Syrian rebels and terrorists with money, arms and ammunition and political support are equally or more responsible than President Assad. They have committed grave crimes against Syria. Foreign powers who waged this horrible war on Syria must be held accountable. Just like president Assad they cannot walk away with clean hands from this human catastrophe.

The Syrian war that the world has witnessed have been brought up on Syria's land by the regional and international powers. Western and Persian Gulf countries who created and backed rebels and different terrorists organizations have the blood of Syrian people on their hand. Nasty terrorist organizations namely, Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar AL-Sham, Jaish AL-Islam ISIS (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda have been backed by the foreign powers. It is unimaginable for these terrorist organizations to emerge and sustain their dominance without the strong financial and military support.

Just like any other country, Syria has had its enemies and allies. There were animosities with some countries while friendship with others. Some major powers were strong allies of Syria while some other strong world powers were against Syria. Throughout its history, Syria had a difficult role to play in the Middle-East. It had to take tough decisions for its national interest and national security.

Before the Syrian war, there were regional and western powers who were discontent with president Assad government. They saw him as a threat to their geopolitical interest. They seek to overthrow Assad's government and to bring one of their individuals in order to protect their interests. Apparently, these countries were the architect of the Syrian war. They wanted to overthrow the Assad government at all cost. Some Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan had a strong interest in overthrowing Assad and his government. There was some reason behind these Persian Gulf countries interests to overthrow Assad. For instance, Saudi Arabia saw the strong alliance of Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran against its national security. In addition, Saudi Arabia could not see Syria's alliance with Palestine and Hezbollah (military organization in Lebanon).

In an interview with Euronews President Assad revealed, 'After the war, the offer was directly from the Saudi Arabia that if you move away from Iran and you disconnect all kind of relations with Iran we are going to help you'. Likewise, Turkey, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan had the same inclinations and concerns. In an interview with Charlie Rose president Assad was asked about his opinion on Saudi Arabia and Turkey to which he answered, 'Saudi Arabia is an archaic autocracy, medieval system, based on Wahabi dark ideology. It's a marriage between Wahabi and their political system for 200 years now, that is how we look at it'. Following this question, Charlie asked what is their connection to ISIS (Islamic State of the Iraq and Levante). President Assad replied, 'Same ideology, same background...their ideology is based on the books of Wahabi Saudi Arabia'. Then Charlie asked him his opinion about Turkey to which he said, 'Turkey let's say about Erdogan is Muslim Brotherhood fanatics. Does not mean he is a member but he is a fanatic...He is somebody who is suffering from political megalomania and he thinks that he is becoming the Sultan of the new era of the 21st century'.

Western powers have their geopolitical goals to overthrow Assad. America and its allies were never on good terms with Syria. From the times of Hafez-al-Assad (the father of current president), western powers did not have good relations with Syria. Hafez-al-Assad who ruled Syria for 29 years was a good ally of Soviet Union. In the same manner, western powers did not agree with President Assad's policies in the Middle-East region. In addition, western powers see Syria as a threat to Israel. Apparently, Israel has a strong influence on the western world and it significantly manipulates the foreign policy of some western countries. So, it cannot be ruled out that Israel has a role in forcing these countries to overthrow the Assad government. By toppling down the government of President Assad Israel and western powers will reach their mutual objective. Israel will gain more authority and perhaps feel safer in the region. Directly or indirectly Israel has deep involvement in the Syria war.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has a significant role in the Middle-East. As a growing power in Middle-East Iran cannot shy away from the Syrian war. Though Syrian ally Iran is involved in the Syrian war because it is protecting its national interest. Some foreign powers including some Arab countries absolutely despise Iran for its increasing influence in the region. As an ally of Syria, the Islamic Republic Of Iran has continually provided military and political support to President Assad. Iran argues that if they do not stand with president Assad. Syria will collapse like Iraq and Libya and there would be a great chance of Syria falling into the hands of terrorists and fanatics. They also believe that it is in the interest of everybody that Syria remains peaceful. Iran believes that only the Syrians should decide the fate of their country. Syria should not be influenced by the foreign powers about their future. Let the people of Syria choose what is best for their country.

Iran has sent its IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) troops on the ground to help the Syrian army to battle the rebels and terrorists. From the beginning of this war, IRGC has been heavily involved in providing assistance to Syria's armed forces. Qassem Soleimani, a senior military officer of IRGC, proves to be a great asset to Syria. He came to be known as a prominent IRGC officer in battling Syrian rebels and terrorist organizations.

Perhaps one of the most important players in this war is the Russian Federation; an old all of Syria. From the outset of the Syrian civil war, Russia aims to back Syria. It provides political and military support to the Assad government. Just like any other country in this war, Russia has its own geopolitical interest in Syria.

Russia is a major power in the world and it has used its power to protect the Assad government whenever it can. During this war, Russia has utilized its power and backed the Assad government in the United Nations, particularly in the security council. Militarily it has provided substantial support to Syria.

Russia has been accused of protecting the brutal Assad government. Russia's western allies repeatedly raised their concerns about Russia's heavy involvement in the Syrian war. However, Russia denies the fact that they are protecting the Assad government. They say they are protecting Syria from becoming another Libya and Iraq.

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We do not protect Assad, we protect Syria from becoming Libya.

— Vladimir Putin (President of Russia)

Official statement by OPCW-UN On The Complete Destruction of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Why does the U.S. continue to send weapons to northern Syria even after ISIL has been cleared? Why are you still here, why do these (weapons) still arrive? You must be plotting against Turkey, Iran and perhaps Russia.

— Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish President)

Use of Chemical Weapons

Major Chemical Attacks

The first time the issue of the chemical attack was brought up on December 23, 2012. The allegation was that seven people were allegedly killed by the chemical attacks perpetrated by the Assad regime. The Syrian armed forces were allegedly accused of perpetrating the use of toxic chemical weapons in the area of Homs.

The second alleged chemical attack occurred on 19 March 2013. It was reported that the execution took place in Khan al-Assel (Aleppo) and al-Atebeh (Damascus). The alleged attack left 25 people killed and more than dozen were wounded.

On August 21, 2013, Syrian opposition activists accused the Syrian forces of large-scale chemical attacks in Ghouta. The reports said that more than thousand of people were affected by the attack. This chemical attack changed the course of events. An urgent meeting was held by the UN Security Council to investigate the 21 August attack.

The secretary general of United Nation, Ban Ki-moon, demanded a thorough and impartial investigation of the attack. In addition, the director of OPCW (organization for the prohibition of chemical weapon) Ahmed Üzümcü expressed serious concerns about the attack.

Following the attack and the enormous pressure from the United Nations. The Syria government said it will let the UN investigation team and experts investigate the site.

America, France, and Britain believed that the chemical attack was conducted by the Syrian government. For that reason, they started considering a military aggression against Syria. The heads of the three states were absolutely willing to strike Syria very shortly. However, Russia proposed a plan to the international community that Syria would dismantle and give up its chemical weapons. The chemical weapons would be placed under the control of the international authority. In that case, America, France, Britain would suspend its plan to conduct a military strike against Syria. The plan was welcomed by the Syrian government and the governments of America, France, and Britain.

On 14 September 2013 Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and American secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement. Both parties agreed on a plan that Syria will be required to let the UN investigation team inspect and eventually demolish its chemical weapons. To execute this task Russia and American government secured an approval from the OPCW executive council and the UN Security Council.

On October 6, 2013, OPCW and UN experts investigative teams said that the process of destruction of Syrian chemical weapons has been started.

On 31 October 2013 with the full collaboration of OPCW and UN, the Syrian government destroyed all of its chemical weapons facilities. The OPCW and the UN confirmed that Syria has eradicated all of its chemical weapons facilities.

The last step was to transport the chemical weapons out of Syria. It was decided that the destruction of chemical weapons will take place in America. After some negotiation and talks, it was agreed that two private companies will be responsible for the destruction of chemical weapons. An American private company Veolia and a Finnish private company Fortum Waste Solutions Oy were handed the task of destroying the Syrian chemical weapons.

On 4 January 2016, the OPCW announced that all of the Syrian chemical weapons have been completed. The Director-General of OPCW (2016) stated on its website that the process of eliminating Syrian chemical weapons have been accomplished.

After the complete destruction of chemical weapons, the matter did not close. Some foreign powers began to raise new concerns about the use of chemical weapons by Syrian armed forces.

One of the major concern in this war is the use of chemical weapons. It has been said and reported and showed that president Assad has used chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun against the civilians. The western and Arab leaders accused president Assad of using chemical weapons against the civilians. It has been widely reported in the media that Syrian armed forces have perpetrated the use of chemical weapons against the innocent people. Videos have been circulated in media of people getting badly wounded by chemical weapons.

This was an enormously serious issue and president Assad was warned for grave consequences if he continued the use of chemical weapons. There was an ongoing debate about the authentication of the chemical attack. Some of the world leaders believed that it is too early to make a conclusion about this horrendous situation. While some other world leaders started demanding a quick reaction against president Assad. It is, however, been found that the videos that showed chemical attacks were absolutely false. In an interview, April 2017, with AFP president Assad clarified the reality of chemical attacks. The interviewer asked, 'Mr. President did you give orders to strike Khan Sheikoun with chemical weapons last Tuesday?'. President Assad replied, 'Actually no one has investigated what happened that Tuesday in Khan Shaykhun. As you know Khan Shaykhun is under the control of the Al-Nusra Front (a terrorist organization) which is a branch of Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization). So the only information to this moment is published by Al-Qaeda branch. No one has any other information. We do not know if the pictures and videos are true or fabricated. That is why we asked for an investigation into what happened in Khan Shaykhun. Second, Al-Qaeda sources said the attack occurred in 6 or 6:30 in the morning. While the Syrian attack in the same area was happened at around noon at around 11 or 12...So, there was no order to make an attack (chemical) and we do not have any chemical weapons. We gave our arsenal three years ago'.


The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has deployed its specialists on a fact-finding mission. But a group of western countries cynically ignored this, launching a military attack without waiting for the results of the investigation...With its actions the United States only exacerbates the humanitarian disaster in Syria, bringing suffering to civilians, essentially abetting terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years,...

— Vladimir Putin (President of Russia)
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Humanitarian Catastrophe

From the outset of the Syrian war, the people of Syria have faced an inconceivable amount of loss. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the death toll resulted from the war up until February 2016 was 470,000 (Human Rights Watch, 2017, p. 571). During the Syrian conflict, the only side who suffered injustice and immeasurable loss is the people of Syria. They have been dragged into this war without their will. They are victims of the proxy war played by some western powers and rich petrodollar countries. The Syrian government and the foreign powers continuously played the geopolitical game. Even though they knew of the consequences of this conflict they still went on with their insanely illogical adventures and evil game plans.

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 6.1 million Syrians have been displaced and 4.8 million are refugees (Human Rights Watch, 2017, p. 571). In the history of Syria, this is the first time that the people of Syria have faced such a horrible large-scale humanitarian crisis. All these people who have been displaced, disappeared and forced to flee from their country abroad are innocent people. They did not ask for this war and they have no hand in this war. They were peacefully living in their homeland. Once they were living with their loved ones in their country. However, all of a sudden everything changed and now they are living under worse conditions. In Syria their lives are terrible and in refugee camps, they are treated awfully.

I am no longer making Assad's removal a prerequisite for everything since I do not see anyone as his legitimate successor.

— (Emmanuel Macron, President of France)
Foreign Powers
Motivation Behind their Strategic Goals in Syria
Who It Support
Saudi Arabia
Syria's alliance with Iran, Palestine and Hezbollah. Wants a Pro-Saudi ruler in Syria.
Al -Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, ISIS, Jaish AL-Islam Syrian Rebels and Free Syrian Army.
America
Syria's independent foreign policy. Syria's long-term conflict with Israel. Syria's alliance with Russia, Iran, Palestine and Hezbollah
Al-Nusra Front, Syrian Rebels Syrian Opposition and Free Syrian Army.
Qatar
Ideological and Political differences. Qatar wants to be seen as a major player in the Middle-East.
Free Syrian Army, Syrian Rebels and Al-Qaeda.
Great Britain
Breaking Syria into small states. Taking control of its resources. Protecting Israel.
Syrian Rebels, Syrian Opposition, Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra Front.
Turkey
Desire to create it's old power in Middle-East. Wants dominance in Middle-East. The control over Kurd's.
Syrian Rebels, Syrian Opposition, Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra Front.
France
Wants to be a dominant force in Middle-East. Sees Assad as a problem. Look for Syria's resources.
Syrian Rebels and Free Syrian Army.
UAE
To support Saudi Arabia and America by supplying money and weapons to the terrorists.
Al -Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, ISIS, Jaish AL-Islam Syrian Rebels and Free Syrian Army.
Russia
To remain a dominant force in Middle-East. Protecting it's old ally.
Assad Government and Syrian Armed Forces.
Iran
Syria is a bridge for Iran to send military aid to Hezbollah and Palestine. It is an old ally of Syria. Wants to fight Wahabi and Sunni extremism.
Assad Government and Syrian Armed Forces.
Israel
Long-term animosity with Syria. It sees Syria as a threat to its national security. Syria is the only Arab country with independent policy. The plan for Greater Israel.
Free Syrian Army, Opposition, Syrian Rebels and Terrorist Organisations fighting Assad.
Jordan
To serve its western and Arab allies.
It provides its air base and military sites for the countries who are fighting Assad government. Jordan has been used as a ground for the training of rebels and terrorists.

© 2018 Haider

Comments

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    • Haider Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Haider 

      5 months ago from Melbourne

      Absolutely, it is the civilians who are being affected by this ongoing bloody war. All the parties in this war should come to the table and resolve this problem in a diplomatic, civilized and political manner.

      Thank you very much, Howard, for your opinion.

    • Haider Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Haider 

      5 months ago from Melbourne

      Yes, Syria is not a democratic state and Bashar-al-Assad is responsible for many things. But, it should be up to the people of Syria to decide their future. It is up to them to decide what form of government they want. It is up to the people of Syria to force Assad to step down.

      However, the problem lies in the foreign intervention. It is the regional and international countries who are providing support to Syrian rebels and different terrorist organizations and that makes the whole situation worse.

      I appreciate your time and comment.

      Thank you Mr. Happy.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      5 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      The long running Syria civil war has been a massive humanitarian nightmare. It would have been much shorter if the world had been united behind stopping it. Russia has been a major catalyst in propping up the government and prolonging the war. Excellent Hub depicting the history of this war. Great job, Haider.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      5 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "However, what is illegitimate, illegal and unlawful was when the opposition started violating the rule of law." - I was born and raised in a dictatorship, in Romania. I lived my childhood hungry, cold in the winter, depressed, oppressed ... nothing I would wish on anyone.

      In December, 1989 the Romanian people went out in the streets and started protesting, something that never happened on a mass scale. So, the dictator sent in the army and people started getting killed. After a few days of massacres, a couple of Generals switched sides and suddenly the dictatorship began crumbling to pieces. The military caught the dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu and after a pretend-court-martial, him and his wife, Elena Ceausescu were brought to the back of the building in front of the firing squad and we all saw the last moments of their lives on national television.

      The protests were illegal. People fighting the dictatorship was an illegal act but You know what? When You are dealing with dictators not much is illegal. People wanted Ceausescu to be killed by mobs and to be honest, I wuold not have felt bad if that happened. He terrorized us for forty0five years. In the same way, Assad and his father also have terrorized the Syrian population for decades, upon decades. Assad is a dictator. he does not care about International Laws, Human Rights and things of that nature. So, You expect the opposition to act lawfully? One cannot overthrow a dictatorship lawfully because the dictatorship is the law. You have to break that, in order to gain freedome.

      I appreciate Macron's quote: "I am no longer making Assad's removal a prerequisite for everything since I do not see anyone as his legitimate successor." It is extremely important to have a plan on what to do after the regime is overthrown. Not like Iraq: destroy the whole country and then, be surprised when ISIS fills-in the power vaccum.

      This is a really tough situation. The people of Syria have to come up with a temporary gov't to make the transition from Assad's dictatorship to a democratic society. These things will take decades. In Romania we're still dealing with major issues of corruption which gripped the country when the dictatorship fell apart and wqe had some areas in government were indeed there was a vacuum of power.

      Syria will need international support, time and Assad to be gone, in order to heal itself. All the best to everyone!

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