Syria summarized in 10 points for beginners - İSMAIL KILIÇARSLAN

Syria summarized in 10 points for beginners

1. Since 1970, Syria has been governed by the authoritarian Nusayri regime, which consists of a religious minority in the country. This authoritarian regime has never permitted the representation of Sunnis –which make up the majority of the population in the country- at the state level, never let them participate in politics or represent themselves through non-governmental organizations. Dictator Hafez al-Assad, who uninterruptedly ruled the country from 1970 to 2000 (when he died), has killed around 40,000 people in the city of Homs through airstrikes. Tens of thousands of people in Syria have been executed or imprisoned due to political reasons.

2. When the wind of the Arab Spring which started in Tunis and spread throughout the Arab geography around 2010, it had also reached Syria in less than no time. In Syria, the youth particularly had started a chain of civilian demonstrations, chanting “the youth want a change of the system.” The protestors had continued their efforts to make their voices heard for six months, without even throwing a stone at anyone, let alone bullets. There were two main things they demanded. The release of political prisoners and transforming to a democracy through a national transitional government. However, each protest had concluded in state violence, detentions and torture. A mechanism had started to run, where the people who were going to police stations asking why their relatives had been detained were also taken into custody.

3. Over the course of this six-month period, the international community paid almost no attention to what was going on in Syria. On the other hand, Turkey made a number of implementable suggestions, especially to Bashar al-Assad. However, President Assad, who was unable to convince his older brother Maher and the Baath bureaucracy, did (could) not take heed of any of the suggestions. At this point, Assad is nothing but a murderer whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of people whom he ordered to be killed.

4. In April 2011, when weapons started to come to light, the oppressed Syrian people, fugitive soldiers and the youth started an armed insurgency against the Assad forces, which could be described as being asymmetric. At this stage, Syria's closest allies, Russia and Iran, stepped in and succeeded to block all potential sanctions by the international community. Both Russia and Iran have delivered all sorts of economic and military aid to Syria. On the other hand, the insurgents generally referred to as the “opposition” received various and insufficient support from some Gulf countries and Turkey.

5. Everything in Syria got hectic in the past four years. The Iranian soldiers fought alongside the Baath army, as well as the militants from Lebanese Hezbollah and Russian soldiers. On the other hand, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which is a terrorist organization separated from al-Qaeda, has gained strength in no time and served as a “catalyzer” in the bizarre fragmentation of opposition groups in Syria.

6. Contrary to common thought and what is forced upon the Turkish society to be accepted, 9 out of 10 people fighting against the regime forces in Syria are Syrian citizens. ISIL is the organization which contains fighters from a number of different countries. And it is no secret that ISIL fights the opposition more than it fights the Assad regime.

7. A few months ago, many groups fighting against the regime in Syria but are separate from each other had succeeded in establishing an alliance. This alliance took control over Idlib and its surroundings in a short amount of time. They currently proceed towards Lattakia, considered to be the stronghold of Assad. The formation of an alliance between opposition circles is accepted to be one of the most critical thresholds for the Syrian civil war. These developments in Syria indicate that the alliance has the upper hand in terms of morale. Almost all experts say, “If Lattakia falls everything will reverse.” Before I forget… ISIL is of course not included in this alliance. In fact, ISIL and this alliance fight against each other.

8. The humanitarian situation in Syria has passed the level of disaster. The greatest problem of the few humanitarian aid agencies which try to deliver aid to the refugees and the poor in Syria is that the amount of assistance sent has dramatically decreased due to the fact that many people have gotten used to war in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people who are forced to eat street animals like cats and dogs, and who collect grass and cook it to survive, are at stake in the country.

9. Contrary to what is thought and what is mutually hoped by the Turkish society, Turkey could not take a substantial initiative in the Syrian civil war. Turkey did not create the Syrian civil war (contrary to what some people assume), nor does it have a grandiose power to end the civil war by itself. Turkey is doing whatever it can, including providing humanitarian assistance and addressing the issues of refugees. However, it does not have the power to ensure that the international community finds a permanent solution to the Syrian issue.

10. The Syrian uprising is the resistance of a dignified people who were oppressed by the domination of a minority-led dictatorship for forty years. Everything has been done to defame and pollute this dignified resistance. Both a series of unidentified organizations and disinformation created by Russia and Iran have attempted to strip this resistance off of dignified Syrian people. However, things are relatively starting to change now. The upcoming few months are quite critical in terms of the Syrian resistance.

The dictatorship of a minority will not last long anywhere in the world, as it will not be successful against the public, nor can it survive. The Assad family, which we could refer to as the “murderer flock”, will not have a say in Syria's future and will eventually fall and leave.

Remember what Attila the Hun said: “If oppression brought prosperity, they would have to register the title of the world under my name.”


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