As this Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the start of the war in Syria, the Arab country continues to resist attempts by the United States and its allies to dismember it and seize its oil resources.
UN urges to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria
More than a decade after its start, the armed conflict continues to affect the Syrian people who, with the support of Russian forces and Islamic resistance groups, face the combatants and mercenaries supported by the West.
Start of the war
On March 15, 2011, at the height of the so-called “Arab Spring”, promoted from the West as part of the reconfiguration of the balance of power in the Middle Eastern and Maghreb region, an anti-government demonstration in Damascus led to a war.
�� | Wars are HORRIBLE. All of them. the of #Syria This month he turns 11 years old. 80% of Raqqa’s infrastructure is destroyed.
400,000 people have died and 438,000 Palestine refugees remain in the country. @NatGeo shows us their lives. https://t.co/T9J342DIHD
— UNRWA Spain (@UNRWA_es)
March 13, 2022
Syria, as a modern State, is the result of the colonial adventures that led to the agreements that ended the First World War (1914-1918), in particular between Turkey (Ottoman Empire, then), France and the United Kingdom.
After the Second World War (1939-1945), Syria fell into the logic of the Cold War, despite the efforts made by Damascus and Cairo at the time of Nasserist pan-Arabism that came to live an ephemeral United Arab Republic (UAR) .
Actors in the conflict
The geographical position of Syria facing the Mediterranean Sea and part of current geopolitics determines its role in what was the Arab Spring and the set of alliances that support or fight against the legitimate government of Bashar Al Assad.
The Assad government’s main supporters are Russia and Iran, while Turkey, Western powers and several Arab states in the Gulf have supported the opposition to varying degrees over the past decade.
11 years of horrific war has devastated Syria and its people, exacting an unconscionable human cost.
The conflict must cease. There must be no impunity.
We cannot fail the Syrian people.
— Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres)
March 11, 2022
Russia, which had military bases in Syria before the war, launched an air campaign in support of Al Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in turning the tide of the conflict in favor of the government.
A US-led coalition since the time of Barack Obama has also carried out airstrikes and deployed special forces in Syria since 2014 to help an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces ( SDF) to capture territory once held by militants of the self-styled Islamic State (Daesh, in Arabic) in the northeast.
The cost of war
After more than a decade, more than 380,000 people have died, including nearly 117,000 civilians, including more than 22,000 children, and 2.1 million have been injured, although it is difficult to reconcile the data.
The war imposed on the Syrian people has caused the displacement of 13 million people: some 5,600,000 live as refugees in neighboring countries and 6,700,000 within the country. Almost half of the displaced have been away from their homes for more than five years and almost four out of ten have had to move more than three times.
It has been devastating for children, with nearly 12,000 killed or injured, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
For its part, the United Nations (UN) estimates that one million children have been born with their families already living as refugees in recent years.
Some 47 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 have experienced the death of a family member or friend, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
One in six say that at least one of their parents has died or suffered serious injuries, while 12 percent confirm injuries in their own flesh.
For years, talks have been taking place in Geneva between the government and the opposition, sponsored by the UN, to draft a new constitution that could put an end to the conflict.