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The Arab Spring, A State Of Civil War

Updated on October 9, 2014
mass protest against the government
mass protest against the government

This civil war has crossed the death toll over 1 lakh and over two millions are displaced. A tragedy that will be remembered in the history of Syria.

The civil war which is a part of the Arab Spring, has been consistent in Tunisia,Bahrain, Egypt, Jordon, parts of Saudi Arabia, Syria since December 2010. The conflict is between the forces loyal to the government and those who want to oust them.The protestors are demanding the government to step down and give a chance to country for implementing a democratic atmosphere through elections. There are a number of reasons for the protest. Government's inability to take care of people, abuse of power, corruption, authoritarian nature of government officials have led the people to raise their voices. Syria has been in news for all these wrong reasons.

The Beginning of Protest:

The Arab Spring can be started from Tunisia in December 2010. The local people were in agony against government's inability to provide basic amenities, employment, reducing corruption. So, they came on the streets against the government to start an armed conflict. The self immolation of Mohammad Bouzizi spread relentlessness among fellow Tunisians and demanded ousting of long time President Adidune Ben Ali. The protest led to hundreds of killing and thousands injured.

Syria, part of Arab Uprising

The protest can be said is part of the Arab Spring which started in December 2010 in Tunisia against poor governance, discrimination between ethnic groups and abuse of power, corruption. It later spread to the Arab world with Syria in February 2011. The protest in Syria began with a small group of demonstrators in the Gezi Park which the government wanted to demolish and build a replica of 19th century Ottoman barracks. This idea did not go down well with the local residents. They demonstrated their anger by peaceful protest. The government authority showed little sympathy to the protestors and went with full force to crack down the protest. In addition to this , people were demanding clean and corruption free politics. The protest then gradually, gripped the whole of Syria in the coming months. All those protest were peaceful but, the government used excessive force to immobilize the growing demonstration around the country. The Syrian government has been criticized for using unconventional methods and excessive force to break the protest again and again . The united nation has claimed over 1,00,000 killed in the ongoing civil war and over a two million people has been displaced. There has been significant increase in the violence since last one year due to recruitment of foreign nationals fighters in opposition rebel forces and the secret transfer of heavy armored weapons to the rebel forces. The Syrian government has claimed that Saudi Arabia and Qatar is secretly offering weaponry and the convicted fighters to the rebel groups.

An asymmetric war:

There has been instance of using scud missiles and chemical gas by the Syrian government security forces over the rebel groups.This has caused severe casualties to civilians . The Syrian government has been criticized by the United Nation for use of chemical weapons over the civilian population. The entry of Hezbollah in the war from the government side has given a new dimension to this ongoing conflict.By July 2013, the Syrian government has controlled over 40% of country's territory and around 60% of the country's population. There has been proof of using heavy missiles and weapons used by the pro government forces which has caused mass killing of innocent civilians .Thousand of protestors have been detained and imprisoned. In some of the areas, the government has stopped basic amenities to break the morale of the rebels.

A Religious View Of The War:

The president Bashar al-Assad comes from a minority Alawite religious group, an offshoot of shite Muslim comprising only 12% of the Syrian population. It has maintained a tight control over the Syrian Army and the security forces which has caused resentment among the Sunni Muslim community of the country. Ethnic minority Kurds have also complained of discrimination by the government. The Syrian government is mostly using Alawite sect security forces to crack down the protest.

Human Rights Situation:

We can see the state of human rights is pathetic in Syria. There has been continuous violation of human rights both form the government and rebels side. The country was under the emergency since 1963 till 2011, giving sweeping powers to the security forces for arrest and detention without any cause. Right of free expression , assembly were controlled by the security forces even before the uprising. Already, the United Nations has announced over 1,00,000 killed and over two million displace in the ongoing civil war. World Health Organization has reported that 30% of hospital in Syria are out of service and due the prevailing situation in Syria around 70% of medial practitioner have fled the country over the last one year

The Syrian government has been condemned by many organization like United Nation, European Union and many western governments.Russia and China has vetoed the western drafted resolution of sanctions on Syria if the continue the military action on the rebels. The humanitarian help to the innocent civilians of Syria is coordinated by the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.More than a billion US dollar has been grated to help the poor Syrians struck in the ongoing civil war. United States, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Japan has together contributed more than 400 million dollars of aid items in Syria between 2012 to 2013.

Pro- Government Parties :

  • Hezbollah- Hezbollah has although denied that it is helping the Syrian government to stop the rebels in a statement by the general secretary of Hezbollah in October last year. The general secretary of Hezbollah has said in the same speech that the Hezbollah fighters has helped the Syrian government to retain control of the 24 strategically important villages to inhabited by the Shiites Muslims of Lebanese citizenship, he even claimed that Hezbollah fighters have died in Syria doing their jihadist duties.
  • Shabiha- Shabiha is an unofficial militia drawn largely from the minority Alawite group which Assad belongs. Since the uprising the Syrian government has increasingly used the group to root out he protest.
  • Syrian Army

Rebel Group Parties:

  • Syrian National Council- It is a coalition of anti government group based in Turkey. They demand the Assad government to step down and establishment of modern, democratic government.
  • Syrian National Coalition- National Council and other opposition forces united to form Syrian National Coalition in November 2012 in Doha as the National Council for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.
  • Free Syrian Army- It is the main armed opposition in Syria. It was founded by some rebel Syrian Army Officers in July 2011. Their agenda is to defend the civilian population from the cruel behavior of he state.

Other countries influenced by Arab Spring

Egypt- Inspired by the revolt of Tunisia, egypt also came on the streets against the president Hosni Mubarak's autocratic nature. Citing the violence on the streets of Egypt , Mubarak appointed a Vice President ,first time in the last 30 years. He gave much of his powers to the vice president, but later announced tgat he would remain in power till his term completes. Later, he transferred the power to the military due to international and internal pressure. The army immediately dissolved the parliament and appointed a civilian to be interim Prime Minister. Essam Sharif was appointed as Prime Minister after the huge support to take control.of the situation. Hosni Mubarak and his former minister Habib al-Adli were convicted for life on the charged of failing their duty to stop violence in the initial days of uprising. Small demonstrations and conflicts continued for several months. Gradually, the effects of this uprising is taking over the politics of other nations. It is a situation, which if not taken due care in due time can be produce catastrophic results against the peace of the world.Now, a new brand of terror called ISIS has emerged out to cause even more embarrassment to Arab countries.


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