How Did The Syrian Civil War Develop Into A Globalized Conflict?

Due to this week’s reports of continual conflict within the Syrian region, namely the persistent shelling and airstrikes reported within the Eastern Ghouta region, this article will investigate the origins of the Syrian conflict which now affects millions of both civilian and military inhabitants. These origins are substantiated by the published articles of the BBC among other reputable news organizations and examine the key agencies and events involved. Overall this article will examine how the civil war developed from a small scale localised issue into a broader global conflict with perpetuating fatal consequences for millions of innocent civilians.

The origins of the civil conflict developed from a key single protest, chronicled within a smaller series of protest in 2011, whereby pro-democratic supporters gathered in the southern city of Deraa. These protesters gathered in response to the arrest, torture and deaths of several teenagers who were caught graffitiing school property. The protesters who called for the resignation of President Assad’s and his regime were instead met with the harsh action of governmental forces who were dedicated to the rapid control and dissolve of the protests through the use of violence. This protest has become known as the Arab Spring Protest of 2011 and sparked the beginnings of a long and brutal civil war which changed the course and action of millions of civilians. By July 2011, these protesters had taken up military arms to oust governmental assemblies from their region, with the Free Syrian Army been simultaneously declared during this time and therefore forming the beginnings of rebel forces.

Despite the gross and unwarranted treatment of the Arab Spring protesters, the country continued to advance further into the stages of a full-scale civil war. Three years later, after the initial conflict began in 2014, America entered the war and backed the Syrian Rebels in order to endorse a quick and peaceful resolve. To mark their endeavour, in September 2014, the US led an airstrike inside Syria to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State. Similarly, to manifest their commitment to the Rebel forces, the US during this time also began training, arming and funding rebel forces in opposition to the Al-Assad government.

In response to the entry of the US into the Syrian crisis, Russia similarly followed suit, joining the war one year later in 2015. Russia indexed its entry into the war by joining the Assad regime in opposition to the US and began its campaign by a series of airstrikes instigated against the Rebel groups. Likewise, in parallel to the US coalition, the Russian government further provided aid in the form of military advisers, funding, and military paraphernalia in order to support the Assad regime.

The complex nature of the Syrian civil conflict and its oscillating parties, powers, and controls creates a volatile milieu of violence within the region. The significance of this conflict becomes illuminated by the massive funding, resources, and strategies which were and are been poured into Syria by nations such as the US and Russia in order to secure a stronghold in the Middle East. Moreover, the fleeing of almost 11 million people from their homes projects the issues which surround the individuals right to safety, protection, and respect within their own lands upon a global stage. What needs to be investigated next is the role, responsibilities, and actions of the Syrian government within this crisis and examine the triumphs and failures of the Assad Regime during the time of the Syrian civil war.

Ellie Willis