By: Miguel Gurrerro
Photo Source: CNN
In order to fully understand the complex nature of the Syrian conflict, it is far easier to understand with an analogy. I have chosen to compare the country with a large High School. In that case, the headmaster would be the President, named Bashar al-Assad, who has been in charge since 2000. His family, however, has been governing the country for about 40 years.
Every school has different groups, and Syria is not different. Syria has numerous groups, such as the Kurds, Sunni Muslims, Turkomans, Circassians, and Palestinians. Each group’s differences looked in order, until 2011. Throughout that year there were anti-government opposition demonstrations against the Ba’athist government of Bashar al-Assad. Bashar sent troops which resulted in extreme violence, killing thousands of people. The groups protesting got furious with the President’s actions and started to attack the government. It wouldn’t be the first time a population went against its government.
In the beginning of 2014, things got extremely worse with the entrance of a radical group called the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). At first, their focus was just taking out the “Principal”. They, however, changed their strategy and chaos ensued throughout the country. They had an advanced army and equipment better than some of the other groups. ISIS’ aggressive strategies resulted in command of about 50% of Syria’s territory.
The conflict can be described as three wars: one war for political power, one an ethnical war, and one a religious war. Syria is half the size of California.
International countries, such as the USA, France or the UK, have no interest in Syria’s territory, but have struggled against balancing their dislike of Bashar’s repressive government and fighting against the ISIS. To make matters more complicated Saudi Arabia is allied with the US, but is also allied with the ISIS for a multitude of reasons. Russia has commercial business with Syria, so they have supported Bashar’s regime.
Meanwhile, the war is still ongoing. More than 400,000 have already died. The worst part is civilians throughout the Middle East Region have continued to suffer. These are common people who are afraid of retribution for no direct involvement. In the midst of this chaos, it’s important to understand that these people need countries to extend their hands to them. Countries taking in refugees may be their last hope of survival.