The Herd

Syrian Conflict: What to Know

Louise Holway, Senior Editor/Staff Writer

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six years, you’re probably at least slightly aware of the conflict going on in Syria; however, the situation is very complicated and often hard to wrap your head around. Never to fear! Following is a quick guide to the basics about the Syrian Crisis and how it affects our life.


Back me up… What’s going on?

A Syrian Civil War against the Assad regime. In March 2011, protests erupted after specific civil rights issues occurred. During these protests, government forces shot and killed several protesters, causing unrest and demonstrations demanding democracy against repressive government control. These demonstrations became extremely violent and caused thousands of casualties, thus starting a full-blown civil war.


How does the United States fit into this?

The United States has been an opponent to the Assad Regime since the beginning. President Obama lead attacks against both ISIS and the Assad Regime, as well as train Syrian rebel groups to aid in the fight. During his campaign, Candidate Trump made clear his intentions to be tough on ISIS (although never giving a plan for how he plans to do so). In addition, his relations with Russia suggested sympathetic attitudes towards the Assad regime.


What about Russia?

Russia is pro-Assad. They have carried out several attacks that claimed to be fighting terrorist groups but were really targeted at rebel forces back by the United States. In addition, they’ve vetoed eight UN resolutions that would aid civilians and possibly bring about peace.


What about the missiles I’ve been hearing about?

On April 6th, President Trump fired a missile attack in response to a chemical weapon attack from the Assad regime that killed 83 civilians. The missiles were aimed at supplies like ammunition, bunkers, and equipment. The good part? Although the exact assessment of the attack is still being evaluated, it is estimated that it did damage a lot of Assad’s equipment that could have been used to carry out another chemical weapon attack. The down side? It severely threatened the relationship between Russia and the United States, which could lead to major conflict down the road. One thing for sure is that this attack largely contrasts from the precision and scrutiny taken by the Obama administration.


Why should I care about what’s going on in Syria?

To start, Syria is situated in the Middle East, and our actions in Syria impact our relations with other Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. You know what’s also in the Middle East: oil. Damaged relationships with any of these nations could lead to increased oil prices world wide, which means you would be paying more at the pump. Ever heard of ISIS? I bet they would appreciate another failed state to take control of. Finally, moral and human rights are huge themes of this war. It’s important not to take for granted our privileges and freedoms because those are often far fetched in other nations.




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Syrian Conflict: What to Know