Thursday, 19 November 2015


You must all know about the crisis going on in Syria and Iraq right now. Millions of refugees are fleeing Syria. The powers of the world are getting involved in it, and there is no end of war in sight.

Why doesn't anybody do anything about it? How did Syria get into this mess in the first place???

I'll explain. It started many years ago, at the end of the Second World War.

At the end of the war, everybody was settling down into new boundaries, but the Middle East had not been defined yet. So the more powerful nations met together to discuss countries in the Middle East. They eventually came up with a plan to create several new countries such as Syria and Israel. In these tiny countries, ethnic communities were scattered, and each group wanted to rule. In Syria, the democratic rule set down by the founders of the country toppled and was replaced by Alawite rule. Alawites are an ethnic minority in Syria. The dictator himself was Hafez Assad, who ruled until he died in 2000.

The new dictator, Bashar Assad, promised a democracy after several peaceful protests. The protests were triggered by other countries toppling their dictators in the Arab spring. However, Assad remained the dictator, while imposing restrictions on the Sunni, the ethnic majority in Syria. He soon became very unpopular. Starting around 2011, protests became riots. Eventually, the people armed themselves and braced for a civil war. Everything began with little groups, mostly in the West of Syria, fighting back. Some of the groups began to join together, and some of these larger groups were strong enough capture entire pockets of land from the government.

Around August, the forces joined together, took over vast areas in the west and north of Syria, and called themselves the rebels. As the government of Syria began to weaken, a new group entered the battle, the Kurds. They came from the north of Syria, and have been creeping slowly southward ever since. Before the Kurds entered the war, the Gulf states had been supporting the rebels, and Russia had been against them. The United States had not actively entered the war, but they favored the rebels. Now that a third group had been introduced, everything changed. The United States could not decide who to support. Russia and other countries had trouble deciding, for various reasons, to support the war.

Around this time, millions of refugees began spilling out of Syria. The war had begun in its earnest. In 2014, yet another group had joined the war; the extremist group known now as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The group, in an aim to create a new country, expanded into Iraq and Syria, mass killing people and galvanizing the world against them. They took over a lot of land from the rebels and the Kurds, and became the richest terrorist group in the world. Around January 2015, they were turned around in Iraq. To compensate for lost territory, they expanded into Syria and now have taken over about 55% of the country, but they are slowing down there too. Some are worried that this may cause the Islamic State forces to take the battle to the international scheme, like what happened in France. ISIS are attempting to draw the world to them because they want an apocalyptic battle to happen in Syria. They believe they will go to heaven by going down fighting.

There is no knowing when this will end or how. However, whoever wins power over Syria will inherit a country in ruins, with the responsibility of cleaning up an entire desert.

Despite the violence going on, most of the civilized world is not concerned with the war, but with the refugees coming from it. A quarter of Syria's population has already fled Syria, and there are more to come. Some are afraid of this swarm of refugees, but there is not much reason to be. They are capable of integrating themselves into a new community, and may help the society of Western countries in years to come.

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