Overview of the crisis in Syria
The war in Syria has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced 12 million, forcing more than 4 million to flee the country since 2011. The UN has called it “the greatest humanitarian crisis of our era.”
In the context of the Arab Spring uprisings, Syrians rose up in March of 2011 to call for the end of dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has continued the brutality of his father Hafez al-Assad’s rule, begun in 1971. The uprising was, and continues to be, violently repressed by the Assad regime.
The Syrian government has used highly destructive barrel bombs, chemical weapons, siege and starvation as tools of war against their own people, and have prevented access to humanitarian relief. In addition to the Bashar al-Assad regime’s crimes against humanity, the war now also involves a host of regional, sectarian, and global actors all fighting their own wars, including the United States, Russia, Iran, Al Nusra Front and ISIS.
There is an urgent need for serious engagement by the international community to end the war in a manner that respects the demands of the Syrian people instead of the various parties pushing their own geopolitical and sectarian agendas.