Wednesday, 9 September 2015

All You Want to know About Syrian Crisis

Why people are fleeing Syria: a brief, simple explanation :

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With the refugee crisis worsening as many Syrians attempt to flee to Europe, many people may find themselves wondering just how the war in that country got so bad, and why so many are fleeing now. Here, then, is a very brief history of the war, written so that anyone can understand it:
Syria is a relatively new country: Its borders were constructed by European powers in the 1920s, mashing together several ethnic and religious groups. Since late 1970, a family from one of those smaller groups — the Assads, who are Shia Alawites — have ruled the country in a brutal dictatorship. Bashar al-Assad has been in power since 2000.
This regime appeared stable, but when Arab Spring protests began in 2011, it turned out not to be. The country's Sunni Arabs, the largest demographic, were clearly sick of their second-class status, and of the country's corruption, brutality, and inequity. Protests began that spring.
On March 18, Syrian security forces opened fire on peaceful protestors in the southern city of Deraa, killing three. Protests grew, and so did the increasingly violent crackdowns. Assad's troops shot demonstrators, abducted and tortured activists, and even murdered children.
Perhaps inevitably, Syrians took up arms to defend themselves. Defectors from Assad's regime joined them. By early 2012, the protests had become a civil war. Government forces indiscriminately bombed and shelled civilian populations; Assad aimed to crush the rebels and their supporters by brute force.
Assad deliberately targeted Syria's Sunni Muslim majority, civilian and rebel alike, for slaughter. His goal was to polarize the conflict on religious lines, to turn what began as a broad-based uprising against a dictator into a sectarian war, with religious minorities on his side. He knew this would attract extremists to the rebel side, which would make the world afraid of seeing Assad lose.
It worked. By 2013, hard-line Sunni Islamists had become some of the most effective anti-Assad fighters, backed by Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Meanwhile, Iran's Shia government backed Assad with cash, weapons, and soldiers. It became, in part, a Middle East sectarian proxy war of Shia versus Sunni.
Meanwhile, a Sunni extremist group known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, which had been mostly defeated in 2007, was rebuilding itself. It grew strong fighting against Assad in Syria, and later swept northern Iraq under the new name ISIS.
By 2014, Syria was divided between government, rebel, ISIS, and Kurdish forces. (The Kurds, an ethnic minority, have long sought independence.) It is divided in a terrible stalemate:
syria is divided into different fiefdoms
Syria's territorial divisions, as of September 2, 2015.
Civilians always suffer most in war, but Syria's have suffered especially. Assad targets them ruthlessly, including with barrel bombs and chemical weapons. ISIS and other groups, when they take over towns, put them under brutal and violent rule. Fighting has left entire neighborhoods and towns flattened.
About 250,000 people have been killed and half of the country's population has been displaced, with 4 million fleeing as refugees:
the number of refugees climbed as the conflict went on
Syrian refugees registered with the UN over time.
Most Syrian refugees end up in overcrowded and underfunded camps in neighboring countries. But with little hope of returning home, many of these families are seeking new lives in Europe, though the journey is expensive, uncertain, and often fatal. That they would risk so much speaks to the horrors they're fleeing, and to their hopes, however faint, of finding a future for their children.
Source- Vox .com

Why Syrians are risking everything to reach Europe, explained in 9 devastating photos

It took an image to wake up the world to the Syrian refugee crisis. The chilling photograph of toddler Aylan Kurdi's body washed up on the Turkish shores, after a failed attempt to flee to Europe, forced people to start thinking about what it meant that 4 million Syrians had become refugees — and what needed to be done to help them.
But what people might not understand is just what they're fleeing from. The situation in Syria is truly dire: The civil war has killed more than 250,000 people since it began in 2011, and forced about half of Syria's 22 million people from their homes. What that looks like, in practice, is nearly unimaginable: entire neighborhoods leveled, and millions of people living in squalid, dangerous conditions. These nine photos illustrate just how bad life has gotten for many Syrians today.

ap syria fleeing civilians
Part of the reason Syria's war has been so devastating is the intense fighting inside densely populated cities. The above photo, part of a Pulitzer Prize–winning collection from 2012, shows what that looks like in practice — a family in the city of Idlib fleeing from the violence overtaking their city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
yarmouk refugee camp syria
This is the Yarmouk refugee camp, which houses Palestinians, in Damascus. It's been described as a "living hell" and "the worst place on Earth," as a result of the utterly miserable living conditions. This 2014 photo, which shows masses of people waiting for food and aid amidst bombed-out buildings, is a perfect encapsulation of how bad things have gotten in Syria. (United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images)
homs bombed out syria
These shattered buildings are in the Khaldiyeh neighborhood in Homs, in 2014. It's a city that was described as the "capital of the revolution" when anti-government protests began in 2011 for the intensity of the protests there. The complete destruction there is a testament to how thoroughly Bashar al-Assad's strategy to deal with the protests — attack them mercilessly, and turn the peaceful revolution into a civil war — has succeeded. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)
barrel bomb syria aleppo
The Assad regime has deliberately and extensively targeted Syrian civilians during the war. What you see above is the aftermath of a "barrel bomb" attack in Aleppo, in May 2015. Barrel bombs are containers filled with explosives and sometimes metal, indiscriminately dropped from helicopters. "Assad’s indiscriminate use of barrel bombs deep in opposition-held territory means that for many there is no safe place to hide," Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, writes in the New York Times. (Karam al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images)
syrian internally displaced atme
As a result of this horrific violence, about 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced — stuck in Syria, but forced out of their homes. These people often live in crowded and underfunded camps, like the Atme camp on the Turkish border, pictured above in 2013. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)
ap syrians food
Displaced Syrians wait for food from an NGO near Azaz, Syria, in 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
kobane people campfire
Since ISIS entered the war in force in 2013, the group has targeted civilians and destroyed whole neighborhoods as well. The above scene shows Kurdish Syrians in Kobane, Syria — a place besieged by ISIS for months. While ISIS was driven out of Kobane earlier this year, the cost to the city and its residents was absolutely devastating. (Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)
lebanon syrian refugees
Of the roughly 4 million Syrians made international refugees by the conflict, the overwhelming bulk are living in neighboring countries, particularly Lebanon and Turkey. They're often stuck in hastily constructed and poorly funded refugee camps — like these children in an unofficial refugee camp in Jbaa, Lebanon, in late 2014. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

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