Syrian Civil War: Cause Analysis & Facts

Abstract

Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict in the 21st century. Syria is facing a major civil war without the prospect of peaceful solutions. This is one of the worst things that is happening in the world. It started because of the Arab spring, which began in Tunisia 2010 and spread across the region. This research is on the regime under Bashar al- Assad and its root in his ancestors’ regime. This Syrian Civil War has devastated Syria and its people. The impact of the extended crisis on the economy has been severe. Half a million Syrians have been killed in the five-year civil war. The war has left families destroyed, flattened towns and cities and left generations in a state of despair. This paper is on the origins of the Syrian civil war. This research also focuses on the dynamics of the Syrian civil war and the impacts of this devastating civil war, which is still ongoing.

Acknowledgment:

Sumiya Majmuder Rinta, Department of IR, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP)

Abbreviations

UN United Nations
USA United States Of America
ISIS Islamic States of Iraq and Syria
ISIL Islamic states of Iraq and The Levant
GDP Gross domestic product

Chapter I

Introduction

Syria is the middle east country. It has been facing problems for the many years but once upon a time, it played an essential role in international affairs. But now, Syria is torn by a major civil war. It started from the Arab spring in 2010. People started protesting against authoritarian regimes. The protesters wanted to bring peace, human rights, democratic government in the country. But later the peaceful protest turned into a violent civil war. The war turned against humanity. The world started accusing the Syrian government of their brutal acts against humanity. Islamic Cooperation and the Arab league have suspended Syria’s membership from their organizations. Five years since the conflict began more than 2500, 000 Syrians have been killed and half of the country’s population have been displaced from their homes. This civil war helped to grow the world most brutal terrorist group named ISIS. This is still ongoing civil war and the inhumanity of this war is inexpressible. Syrian civil war is one of the bloodiest, most complicated conflicts in the world today.

I have divided the paper in 3 sections-Chapter I, II and III. In chapter I, I will be discussing the Introduction, Research question, Research objectives, Research methodology, and theoretical framework. In chapter II, I will be discussing the Importance of the study, literature review, Research findings, and research analysis. And In chapter III, I will be discussing the limitations of the study, The theoretical implications, and conclusion.

Research Question:

Syrian civil war is still ongoing. It has been six long years since it started. But still, it could not come out an end. There is no possible solution for it now. Life has become worse in Syria. People are looking for peace but there is no peace left in Syria. They are continuously dealing with problems. So, first of all, it is essential to know how this conflict started, the root of this conflict, the dynamics of this civil war, the present situation and the impact of this civil war. In my writings, I will try to explain the origins and dynamics of the Syrian civil war. So my research question is ‘’What are the origins and dynamics of the Syrian civil war?’’

Research Objective:

In this paper, I have used secondary objectives.

  1. To show the roots and the causes of the Syrian civil war.

  2. To show the impacts of the civil war and

  3. To show the present situation of the war.

Research methodology:

My term paper is made of qualitative data which deals with some descriptions that I have collected from some article, journal, documents of international organizations, news research as well as other related countries foreign policy towards Syria. The research will be on its origins, present situation and impacts. This study will examine the period between the uprising in Syria March 2011 until present. Through this research, we can study on causes of Syria’s civil war, how the war begins, who are the antagonists, why is it still ongoing, current dynamics, the impacts of the devastating war on Syrian people.

Theoretical framework:

The Syrian crisis is one of the most discussed topics in the entire world. The sufferings of the Syrian people can not describe in words. Syria does not have good relations with almost all the countries especially the western countries and Israel. The causes of Syrian uprising can be viewed through different frameworks, in my view the realist view and constructivist view of international relations relevantly define the Syrian crisis.

Chapter II

Importance of the study:

As a student of International relations, we must know about wars, conflicts, theories of international relations. It will help us to study in IR. I have come to know about many things by doing this paper. It will help me to do other work regarding this in future.

Literature review:

  1. In one article named Syria: The story of the conflict I have found how uprising turns into violence. The government started killing, torturing people when they were rebelling against the government. The unrest triggered nationwide protests demanding President Assad’s resignation. Violence escalated and the country turned into civil war.

Authors: Lucy Rodgers, David Gritten, James Offer, and Patrick Asare

Publish of the year: 11 March 2016

  1. In an article Arab Spring: A Research & Study Guide الربيع العربي: Syria, I have found how small peaceful protest turned into a devastating war. The wave of Arab uprisings that began with the Tunisian revolution of January 2011 reached Syria in mid-March. The government started torturing people, cut off the electricity, murdering innocents. Security forces began confiscating flour and food. Syria’s ethnic divisions complicate the conflict. There was a conflict between Shiia and Sunni community. After all these this became the brutal war. By reading this I have known about the actual reason for the Syrian civil war.

Publish of the year: Oct 12, 2016

  1. In another article ‘’Roots Of Conflict In Syria,’’ I have come to know about the roots of Assad’s regime. How they were ruling over the people since decades, how Ba’ath party became powerful in Syria. Because of their dictatorship, how the country became the devastated country in the current world, how their administration led to the civil war. In this article, I have found other some factors that are responsible for Syrian civil war, such as political repression, discredited ideology, the uneven economy, drought, population growth, new media, the state violation, minority rule, and corruption.

Authors: Lucy Rodgers, David Gritten, James Offer, and Patrick Asare

Publish of the year: 9 October 2015

  1. The book ‘The struggle for power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba’th party’ by Nikolaos van Dam is a constant reference point. This book focusses on the Asad regime, the role of the Alawi sect and in contrast to other scholars, van Dam focuses on the role of sectarianism in Syrian politics.
    Author: Nikolaos van Dam

  2. In an article, I have known about the key players of this war. On Assad’s side are Hezbollah, Alawites, and Iran. Free Syrian army, Sunnis, jabhat al nusra, Gulf states, Turkey and Jordan are on the opposition side.

Author: Mark Mooney

Publish of the year: September 4, 2013.

  1. In another article, I have found the impacts of this ongoing civil war. Which continues with no end in sight. it has so far killed 220, 000 people, displaced half of the country’s population and facilitated the rise of ISIS. It is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with over a quarter million killed, roughly the same number wounded or missing, and half of Syria’s 22 million population displaced from their homes. But more than that, Syria today is the most significant battlefield and generator of Sunni-Shia sectarianism the world has ever seen, with broad implications for the future boundaries of the Middle East and the spread of terrorism.

Author: Kathy Gilsinan

Publish of the year: Oct 29, 2015

  1. ‘The Syria Dilemma’ provides a good overview of visions on the impact of the Syrian civil war in the Middle East and on the rest of the world.
  2. In‘The Dynamics of Syria’s Civil War’ by Brian Michael Jenkins also discussed on the present situation of Syrian civil war.
    This short literature overview does not address all the literature and sources I have used in this research.

Author: Brian Michael Jenkins.

Research findings:

We have come to know, Syria conflict has become the world’s most significant humanitarian crisis. It is the worst humanitarian crisis since world war ii. It ’s an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict with international interventions. The initial uprising began as a continuation of the Arab Spring movement. “The Government must go!”, the movement began as an uprising for democracy. The Syrian opposition, or the rebels in Syria fighting against their country’s old regime,  is united in its goal of overthrowing Syria’s current president, Bashar al-Assad, and establishing a new government. The unrest began on 15 March 2011. Bashar al-Assad’s father was Hafez al-Assad. He got the power from his father. Bashar al-Assad has ruled the country since 2000. Syrians couldn’t tolerate, then they peacefully demonstrated in towns across the country against Mr. Assad. Unlike some other countries facing democratic protests, the Syrian government responded with violence, killing many protesters and radicalizing the movement. 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. By June 2013, the UN said 90, 000 people had been killed in the conflict. By August 2015, that figure had climbed to 250, 000, according to activists and the UN. The rise of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) has added a further dimension. So, It’s partly a civil war of government against people; partly a religious war pitting Assad’s minority Alawite sect, aligned with Shiite fighters from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, against Sunni rebel groups; and increasingly a proxy war featuring Russia and Iran against the United States and its allies. Whatever it is, it has so far killed 250, 000 people, displaced half of the country’s population, and facilitated the rise of ISIS.

The Syrian Civil War has devastated Syria and its people. The impact of the extended crisis on the economy has been severe. All areas of the country have been affected by the crisis. People have been facing lots of problems from the beginning of the conflict. Half a million Syrians have been killed in the five-year civil war. Nearly two and a half million children forced to become refugees. More than seven million forced to flee Syria including the hundreds of thousands in Europe. The war has left families destroyed, flattened towns and cities and left generations in a state of despair. life expectancy has dropped from 70. 5 years in 2010 to an estimated 55. 4 years in 2015. 6. 6 million people visited Syria in 2010 and tourism accounted for an estimated 5% of GDP but by April 2013, the tourism sector, both national and international, had utterly collapsed.

Research Analysis:

  1. Migration crisis.
  2. The rise of ISIS.

  3. The rise of sectarianism.

  4. Unrest throughout the nation.

  5. Effects on the world economy.

  6. The increase of terrorist activities in the current world.

Chapter III

Limitations of the study:

  1. when I started writing this term paper, I faced many difficulties cause I didn’t have much knowledge about this topic. I didn’t know the reasons for the Syrian civil war. Why this war is still ongoing, I didn’t know the roots of this conflict. Because of this, I faced some difficulties at first.

  2. I have found so many articles regarding the number of casualties in Syrian war till now but there I found a different number of casualties, which made me confused.

  3. There are lots of articles regarding this topic on the internet, that’s why I faced some difficulties to find out the exact answer and there are also so many statistics data, that took time to understand.

The Theoretical Implications:

Realist View:

According to realism, people’s interest is the central principle. They never want to be commanded, they want to do whatever they wish. They do not want to take advantage of anyone. In Syria, Government rules over people, they are taking away people’s freedom. Government is violating them for their interest. That’s why people started rebelling against them. These actions of people to liberate themselves from the tyranny of the Al-Assad’s government. That indicates that they think what realists think and this is human nature. Under realism interests define relationships and alliances. Russia is backing the Assad regime because of its interest. The situation also supports the idea that the progress in international politics is comparable to that in the domestic life, for example, Syria is not only facing internal political problems but also external because of political instability within the country. I have chosen Realistic theory because it helps to understand the very nature of human power relations.

Constructivist view:

This theory explains the social and historical context of the country. So, this goes with the Syrian crisis. Because this crisis is still ongoing in Syria and it has a connection with history. Syria was always been ruled by the dictators. Democracy was not introduced there. There was no freedom of people, women were always been violated. But later, they wanted to be liberated as like as other middle east countries. Then they were inspired by Arab spring. They tried to fight for their freedom. They dreamt to build their society according to their wish rather than dictators, bring the democratic system and change the economy of Syria. I have chosen Constructivism because it helps to understand the importance of society and the role it plays in the building of relationships amongst people within the country and with all other countries of the world.

Conclusion:

As we have come to know the Syrian crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis in the current world. Still, we don’t see its future, there is no possible solution. No one knows when this devastating war will be stopped. No one couldn’t predict about this future. World leaders, organization are trying to come out with the best possible solutions. They think, there is an urgent need to find a lasting solution that will end this conflict. The brutality of this conflict has already crossed the limits. We have already seen the sufferings of the people in Syria, that can be expressed in words. This has shaken our conscience with the images of innocent men, women, and children suffering from the devastation within their own country. In this paper, I have tried to show the origins, actual causes, impacts till now of this crisis.

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