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A Brief History of Syrian Civil War

Since March 2011, there has been a civil war in Syria which caused death of thousand people and forced to nearly 5.5 million people to migrate other countries mainly Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

At the end of the approximately 10-year period under management of Bashar Hafez al-Assad, just like in other countries which are confronted with the Arab Spring, in Syria the anti-government protests began in March 2011. The starting point of the protests against Assad was a graffiti in the southern Syrian town of Dara’a. It was claimed that a group of students who are under 20-year old wrote “It’s your turn Doctor.” on the wall. Then they were arrested by the regime which told their family that “Forget your children!” Thus peaceful uprising movement turned into a internal turmoil which many states and non-state actors have involved step by step.

The high unemployment rate, corruption and harsh sanctions against Syrian people also led to speed up this turning. At first the protesters organized by contacting each other with the help of social media and made urgent request for political freedom, democracy and invitation Assad for resignation in streets of Syria after Friday prayer. The major reasons are existing economics situation, Sunhi-Alawite conflict and political pressures of the regime.

The Syrian government preferred to suppress the protest by killing of hundreds of protesters Although many governments warned reforms to have been needed. In following days, Dera, the first city of the uprising, was besieged. Then, Banyas and Homs were blocked by tanks in early July and Deyruzzor and Hama. All these cities were under fire for months. The summer of 2011 was the date when the civil uprising in Syria turned into armed resistance after increasing massacres. Officers who leaved the regime’s army formed the Free Syrian Army. Then Syrian dissidents formed the political wing and established the Syrian National Council, which was declared a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Europe and United States supported the Syrian dissidents, on the other hand, Russia, China and stood by the regime. Turkey has been strongly recommended in order to provide territorial integrity of Syrian Arab Republic and summoned to Assad for democratization of Syria since the protests have been started. The U.N. tried to take action to condemn Syrian regime but Iran and Russia continued to support to Assad and even U.N. observations were attack. Unfortunately, Cease-fire call of U.N. remained unanswered so Kofi Anan announced his resignation from his duty of U.N. -Arab League Envoy for Syria.  The involvement of Russia by launching air campaigns for Assad, The American intervention in the Syrian Civil War, Shia Muslim militiamen army which was supported financially by Iran, the emergence of Daesh and failure in Astana process have made turned the existing conflict into a full-scale civil war in Syria. Today Syria are divided several areas which 6 main powers have control. They are: Syrian government, Syrian rebels, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkish Military, Islamic State Group, Jihadist forces and Kurdish forces.

In addition to all these, Turkey has been emphasizing the importance of safe zone area furthermore there are considerations between Turkey and U.S. so as to set up safe zone areas in Northern Syria and conduct a peace corridor to provide movement of Syrian asylum-seekers who want to come back to their home.

As a consequence of Syrian Civil War which has started in 2011, more than 13 million Syrians had to migrate inside and the outside of the country. Turkey has applied “open-door policy” for Syrians and became the primary country to open its doors and hosted 3.6 million Syrians asylum seekers in its temporary accommodation centers and cities. Lebanon and Jordan followed Turkey by hosting nearly 1 million and about 700 thousand Syrians while European Countries including Germany with over 500 thousand, Sweden and Austria opened their doors for totally 1 million Syrians. This irregular migration wave has obligated all countries mainly Syrian neighboring countries to re-think and conduct advanced migration policies.