Civil war in Syria

The civil war broke out in Syria in March 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring from. He began with protests in the city of Daraa – a world dominated by tribes and poor agricultural region that was economically after years of drought on the ground. The participants demanded as the Damascus Spring of 2001, an end to the corrupt economic policies and the fall of the Ba’athist regime of President Bashar al-Assad . [12]

The government fought the protests with a heavy hand. This security forces used live ammunition against protesters and opposition activists were tortured in detention. In the second half of 2011, opponents of the regime began increasingly to arm and fight against the regular armed forces, [13] which developed the conflict into a civil war. , Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have accused all the forces of the government, but also parts before the armed opposition in connection with the clashes of serious human rights violations. [14] [15]

The Syrian government gave the number of dead in mid-September 2011 in 1400, including 700 members of the security forces had been. The United Nations said at the time already of more than 2,600 victims. [16] According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights up to that date, more than 70,000 people were arrested, it had 15,000 remained in detention [16] came According to the findings of the United Nations of 15 March 2011 to the end of February 2013 nearly 70,000 people were killed. [17]

Since many foreign journalists have been expelled shortly after the beginning of the uprising, [18] based reporting on the uprising predominantly on local activists and international organizations. The Syrian government said since the beginning of the protests that these by Islamist extremists had been instigated, foreign conspirators and terrorists. [19]

Since the summer of 2011, there are several opposition coalitions, including the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change . The Coordinating Committee is against an armed action. Former soldiers also formed the most from the majority Sunni Syria supported [20] Free Syrian Army (FSA), which considers itself an armed branch of the Syrian opposition. The combined into their partisans are composed very heterogeneous [21] is so contested by Assad that it actually constitutes an army. [22] SNC and FSA are supported financially by the Gulf States, [23] both have their headquarters in Turkey.

Against the background of debates about military intervention in Syria politicians of different countries fear an internationalization of the conflict that could lead to a regional war, [24] [25] [26] most worry the neighbors Lebanon and Iraq .

Because of the diplomatic stalemate at the UN level as a consequence of the impending consequences for the region consider the U.S. since the G8 summit at Camp David in July 2012, a resolution of the crisis through a ” Yemeni solution “, ie, a stabilization of the existing political system Syria under the assumption that Bashar al-Assad goes abroad and someone else is president in his place. Such a solution is considered feasible if Russia can be won. [27] Due to ongoing violence of the regime against the opposition, which for including Hula massacre led, had various countries, including the U.S. and Britain, Syria in June 2012 diplomats from.
Table of Contents

1 Background
1.1 Population growth and economic growth
1.2 Minorities
1.2.1 Alawites
1.2.2 Christians
1.2.3 Shiites
1.2.4 Kurds
2 Involved
2.1 Government
2.2 Political opposition
2.3 Armed opposition
3 centers of protest and foreign aid
4 course
4.1 event and the beginning
5 Refugees
6 devastation of World Heritage
7 risk of contagion to other countries
8 International reactions
8.1 United Nations
8.2 Arab League
8.3 Organization of Islamic Cooperation
8.4 European Union
8.5 United States
8.6 Turkey
8.7 Iran
8.8 Israel
8.9 France
8:10 Germany
9 Literature
10 articles, analyzes and studies
11 links
12 Notes and references

→ Main article: Political system of Syria


In Syria since 1963, ruled the Baath party in the form of one-party rule . Real opposition parties were not admitted. Although the Baath Party in Syria was politically the same as that under Saddam Hussein, the Iraq dominated, rivaled the Iraqi with the Syrian branch to the leadership in the Arab world. This was seen by some political conspiracies that from Damascus and Baghdad were forged against the other party branch. [28]

Although for decades was the pan-Arabism , a pillar of the policy of the Ba’ath Party of Syria and Iraq, but played in Syria realpolitik of Syrian nationalism later than the end of the Cold War, a greater role. The projected Greater Syria today included the following territories: Syria, Lebanon , Israel , Palestine and Jordan .
Population growth and economic growth

Between the 1960s and 1980s, Syria was one of the highest population growth rates among the North African countries and the Middle East. The climax was reached in the 1970s, with an average birth rate of 7.6 children per woman. [29] In combination with a continuously declining over the same period, mortality rate [30] led to a population increase from 4.5 to 13, 8 million people between 1960 and 1994. [31] Growth slowed since then and 2010 there were about 22.5 million people in Syria. [32]

The Syrian state was in the 1970s and 80s through investments that were made up of economic aid from the Soviet Union, the support of other Arab countries, transfer fees for Iraqi oil and the profits from a small private oil exploration, the Syrian economy based so far that high economic growth and sufficient jobs were generated. With the disappearance of the foreign support and the decline in oil prices in the 1980s, the population growth that the now stagnant economy outperformed significantly. [33] the crisis so that high unemployment and massive was even aggravated by the high military budget of the Syrian government, inflation, the consequences were. An attempt to stop this development was a halving of the military budget from 1985 until 1995. With the declining demand for soldiers and the additional support for very large families in 1987 was stopped. [34] The high level of external debt in the Soviet Union and its successor Russia and several western countries dampened economic growth in combination with a renewed fall in oil prices in the mid 1990s again . A necessary reform was the mandatory liberalization of the economy, with the aim to promote more private sector initiatives, and the state’s commitment to drive back to as much of the working population to bring in paid employment, which would not be dependent on continuous support from the tight state budgets. [35] These reforms were indeed recognized early by the Syrian leadership, and was formulated in 1985 by the only ruling Baath party the goal of a stronger private sector, but the cumbersome, highly centralized administrative system of the regime, in which at least almost a third of Syrians who went about paid work, was employed [32] was not able to implement such initiatives. [36]

Following the death of President Hafez al-Assad in 2000, his son and successor initially tried to implement parts of these economic reforms, but left no lasting democratic reforms in one-party or management system, [37] so that the economic situation did not change. Due to increased demand from the private sector, which was produced primarily by refugees from Iraq and investments from the Gulf region from 2004 to 2007, was a temporary economic growth of 4% could be achieved, but this trend did not last. [38] While the regime stated an unemployment rate of 10%, were significantly higher numbers of other estimates, which in the group of up to 50% ranged before the outbreak of the civil war under the age of 30. [39]

Among the varied reasons, according to which different factions formed in the Civil War, one including the heterogeneity of the Syrian government and the Syrian society, which provides potential for conflict in several places:

The population of Syria is made ​​up ethnically of Syrian Arabs , Kurds , Assyrians , Turkomans and Palestinians together. These are from various religious communities, among which the Sunnis with over 70% share are the most numerous in the population. To the religious minorities in Syria, however include the Alawites , Christians , the Druze and the Shia .

The Syrian government saw himself, with his, to socialism ajar agenda, as secular system and forbade overt political influence of religious groups. [40] Sectarian riots, like those of the Muslim Brotherhood , which was by force, that the Sunni denomination as state religion should be enshrined in law, [41] were already depressed in the 1980s with great hardship, in part, there were tens of thousands of deaths, such as the Hama massacre .

Smaller religious communities in Syria benefited from such system, prevented the radical religious elements from among the Sunnis in the political influence. The fear of suppression and persecution by religious fanatics led to such statements of support from the ranks of minorities for the regime in the Civil War. [42]

In its 20 December 2012 published report, the Commissioner for Syria UN Human Rights Commission that the conflict is increasingly conducted along ethno-religious lines. So it came to attacks by government forces on Sunni civilians during the insurgency Alawites and other minorities supposedly loyal to the government, such as Catholic and Armenian Orthodox Christians and Druze attacked. Minorities such as Christians, Kurds and Turkmen now form their own militias to protect their territories from attack. [43]

The Alawites (also called “Alawite”) were historically an already repeatedly persecuted religious minority. Your faith community can be the party of Ali (Ali Shiat) assign. For the Sunnis, however, the majority religion in Syria, the Alawites are considered heretics . Provide Alawites in Syria at least six percent of the population , perhaps the percentage is higher, (together with the Shiites) at 13 percent. [44] [45] [46]

Just as in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein positions of power with representatives of his Tikrit – clientele . occupied, there is in Syria a Qardaha clientele Qardaha is a predominantly inhabited by Alawites of Matawira tribe village in northern Syria, where Hafez al-Assad , the father the current president of Syria, was born. The Matawira strain is one of four Alawitenstämmen. So far, the Syrian Baath regime had particularly secured its stability by Qardaha clientele. [28]

The Alawites are thus the main target of hatred and need for a takeover of Syria by radical Sunnis fear the worst. [20] Alawites who take part in the riots, why are isolated within their community [47] [48] .
→ Main article: Christianity in Syria

Christianity in Syria has a long, except for the conversion of Paul on the Damascus rich history. About 60% of Christians belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church of. [49]

In November 2011, thanked Patriarch Ignatius during a visit of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Patriarch in Damascus and all citizens of Russia for their compassion and support. [50]

In a statement in March 2012, the Syrian Orthodox Church has blamed ‘ ethnic cleansing against Christians “in the city of Homs by Islamist members of the” Farouk Brigade “of the Free Syrian Army. Armed militant Islamists have therefore already sold 90% of Christians from Homs and their property “confiscated” and the district Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan had already “christians pure”. The “Farouk Brigade” armed elements are different Wahabist groups and mercenaries from Libya and Iraq belong. [49]

Syrian Christians also warn with regard to the fighting between Arab rebels and Kurdish militias in Ra’s al-’Ayn , before a massive refugee wave of the Christian community from the largely Kurdish-controlled province of Al Hasakah , this should fall into the hands of Arab rebels. [51]

The Shiite minority in Syria sees the insurgents mostly no freedom fighters but terrorists. In areas that are no longer controlled by the Syrian army, Shiites have acute fear for their lives. Therefore, they tend to tolerate maybe too strict action by the security forces against insurgents and opposition members and are therefore perceived as supporters of Assad. The same contrast also splits some of the neighboring countries of Syria, why is warned of a regional spillover with an increasing intensification of the conflict. In addition to the Iraq is here mostly Lebanon called. [20]
→ Main article: Kurds in Syria

Kurds are the largest non-Arab population of Syria and set with approximately 1.7 million almost 10% of Syria’s population. [52] Most of them settled in the north-east of the country, along the nearly 1000 km-long Syrian-Turkish border and the Syrian-Iraqi border in al-Hasakah Governorate and in the Aleppo Governorate . 1965 by the Syrian government creating an Arab belt along the Syrian-Turkish border, and in 1973 announced conducted with Bedouin Arabs located within the belt, while around 140,000 Kurds were deported to the nearby deserts. In addition, the Syrian citizenship 20 percent of Syria’s Kurds had been revoked because it should be illegal immigrated from Turkey to Syria in 1962. Kurds were largely excluded from the participation in the body politic. There was a Arabization in Syria.

In March 2011, the Syrian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs announced then that Kurds do not have Syrian citizenship, now have a right to work. On the second weekend in April 2011, it was announced that those Kurds in Syria, who have no nationality, to obtain the Syrian. [53] This is however only registered stateless (ajanib). Unregistered stateless (maktumin) are not considered, the Syrian citizenship will continue to deprive them [54] .

The main Kurdish organizations are composed of 15 parties Kurdish National Council, and the PYD . Since July 2012, they operate in the High Kurdish Committee together. The PYD and other Kurdish parties have armed units that are active in the Kurdish-inhabited regions, and so far only sporadically involved in skirmishes were [1] [55] .

The Kurdish parties require a complete withdrawal of the denaturalization of 1962, linguistic and cultural rights and recognition of Kurdish as an independent nation, isolated, local autonomy, no Kurdish party but want the independence of the Kurdish inhabited areas of Syria [56] .

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