Portal:Syrian Civil War

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Montage of the Syrian Civil War.png

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria, which began as a peaceful revolution inspired by the Arab Spring, which toppled Middle Eastern dictators in other Arab countries including Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The war is between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba'ath Party government and those seeking to oust it. The unrest began on 15 March 2011, with demonstrations by protesters demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, and the relinquishment of power by the Ba'ath Party, which has ruled Syria since 1971.

In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the demonstrations, and did so by opening fire on civilian protesters. Assad regime used an ultra loyalist group made of hard core Alawites called Shabbhia or "ghosts". This group led by Maher Assad, Basher's brother, led the violent crackdown on protesters. As the crackdowns ensued, some of the SAA defected to form the FSA or Free Syrian Army, as they refused orders to shoot protesters. The FSA was formed with the stated intention of protecting the Syrian people from the regime and overthrowing Assad, and by the end of the year the unrest had deteriorated into a complete armed rebellion, with an influx of both weapons and fighters from outside the country bolstering opposition forces . However, the opposition has remained fractured, both politically and militarily, into groups representing a wide spectrum of positions, from those advocating non-violence and dialogue with the Ba'ath Party, to those supporting violent subversion and all-out war against the state. The Syrian government characterizes the insurgency as an uprising of "armed terrorist groups and foreign mercenaries". The conflict has had no clear fronts, with clashes taking place in many towns and cities across the country.

Until late 2011 the armed conflict had not reached the biggest cities of Damascus and Aleppo, but in mid-2012 full-scaled urban battle began in Damascus, followed by the even more deadly battle of Aleppo. On 15 July 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross assessed the Syrian conflict as a "non-international armed conflict" (the ICRC's legal term for civil war), thus applying international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions to both sides in the conflict. Throughout that year, however, the civil war degenerated further into a regional conflict, and in late 2012 the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra had achieved growing influence within the opposition military forces, while the Lebanon-based Hezbollah had entered the war in support of the Syrian government.

International opponents of the Syrian government, most notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Arabia, and the United Kingdom and France in Europe, responded to the conflict by focusing increasingly on what they regarded as the state's violation of human rights. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia, which both have ties of friendship with the Syrian government, have provided an increasing counterweight to this position, and Russia has shown readiness to supply weaponry to the state if necessary. For its part, the Arab League suspended Syria's membership because of what is regarded as the government's disproportionately violent response to the crisis, and granted Syria's seat on 6 March 2013 to the Syrian National Coalition, one of the main factions of the rebellion.

The war degenerated into a stalemate in early 2013, with both sides making limited advances in different places. According to the UN, the conflict was becoming "overtly sectarian in nature", though both the opposition forces and the Syrian government deny that sectarianism plays any key role in the conflict. On 2 January 2013, the United Nations released an estimate that the war's death toll had exceeded 60,000; by 15 May, this figure was updated to 80,000. According to various sources, between 70,000 and 90,000 people have been killed, of which up to half were civilians. By October 2012, up to 28,000 people had been reported missing, including civilians forcibly abducted by both opposition groups and government forces. According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country, and as many as 1.5 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries. International organizations have accused both government and opposition forces of severe human rights violations, and accusations have been made against both sides of illegally using chemical weaponry.

More about the Syrian Civil War...

Selected article

Fighters of the al-Bab military council, which is part of the TFSA's Hawar Kilis Operations Room, during the Battle of al-Bab

The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (abbreviated as TFSA), partially reorganized as the Syrian National Army by Turkey since 30 May 2017, is an informal armed Syrian opposition structure mainly composed of Syrian Arab and Syrian Turkmen rebels operating in northern Syria, mostly being a part of Operation Euphrates Shield or groups active in the area that are allied to the groups participating in the operation. The general aim of the group is to assist Turkey in creating a "safe zone" in Syria and to establish a National Army, which will operate in the land gained as a result of Operation Euphrates Shield and the Hawar Kilis Operations Room. They are opponents of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), ISIL and the Syrian government's Syrian Arab Army, though as yet, they have had few engagements against the Syrian Army. The TFSA also have a law enforcement equivalent, with the also Turkey-backed though separate from the TFSA, the Free Police.

Incidents and events




Impact on historic heritage

Damaged heritage sites

Displaced and refugees

Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Sep. 2012.
Syrian refugees
Refugee camps
European migrant crisis
Human rights violations

Related portals

Selected biography

Staffan de Mistura September 2015 (21108901363).jpg

Staffan Domingo de Mistura (born 25 January 1947 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a long-serving Italian-Swedish diplomat and former member of the Italian government. After a 40 year career in various United Nations agencies,[1] he was appointed Undersecretary of State (Junior Minister) for Foreign Affairs in the Italian cabinet headed by Mario Monti. He is currently the director of Villa San Michele on Capri[2] and United Nations special envoy for the Syria crisis.[3]

De Mistura's previous UN posts have included that of Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq (2007–2009) and Afghanistan (2010–2011), Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for Southern Lebanon (2001–2004), and Director of the UN Information Center in Rome (2000–2001). His work has taken him to many of the World's most volatile trouble-spots including Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and the former Yugoslavia.[4]


Selected image

Wounded civilians arrive at hospital Aleppo.jpg

Wounded civilians arrive to the Aleppo hospital on the course of Syrian Civil War, October 2012


Syrian Arab Republic and allies

Flag of the Ba'ath Party.svg Syrian Ba'ath Party
Jaysh al-Sha'bi
National Defense Force

Allies militias:

al-Abbas brigade
Lijan militias
Emblem of the Palestine Liberation Army.svg Palestinian Liberation Army

Supported by:

Syrian Opposition

Syria Syrian opposition (SRCC)
Free Syrian Army
Army of Mujahedeen
Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union
Authenticity and Development Front
Jabhat Ansar al-Islam
al-Zenki movement

Supported by:

Flag of the Arab League.svg Arab League
Flag of Qatar.svg Qatar
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
Turkish-basked forces:
 Turkey (2016-present
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (2017-present)
Islamist factions:
Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (until 2013)
Islamic Front (Syria) (2013-16)
Ahrar al-Sham
Jaysh al-Islam

Salafist and ally groups

Army of Conquest (2015-17)
Flag of the Al-Nusra Front.svg Al-Nusra Front
Ahrar al-Sham
Sham Legion

Other allied groups:

Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance
Jabhat Ansar al-Din
Tahrir al-Sham (2017-present)

Islamic State

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Military of ISIL


Syrian Kurdistan (SDF)

Allied militias:

Supported by:

International anti-ISIL coalition



Recognized content

Featured articles

Good articles

Map of current territorial control

Current military situation in the Syrian Civil War.
  Controlled by the Ba'athist Syria
  Controlled by North Syria Federation (SDF)
  Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  Controlled by Tahrir al-Sham
  Controlled by Syrian Opposition and TFSA

(For a more detailed map, see Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War)
  1. ^ [1] page says 35 years, but it was written in 2006 before the Iraq appointment
  2. ^ Anacapri, Staffan de Misturaa Villa San Michele
  3. ^ UN chief appoints Staffan de Mistura as special envoy for Syria crisis
  4. ^ albawaba.com middle east news information::Staffan De Mistura, a history of service: Grinding your teeth for humanity
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