Crisis In Syria Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Syria, Middle East, Politics, Government, War, United Nations, United States, Muslim

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/17

Syria is currently embroiled in a bitter Civil War that many scholars view as a popular revolution that began in 2011 when the Arab Spring commenced. Civil unrest began within the context of these nationalist movements against the autocratic regime of President Bashar al-Asshad’s government, which responded with brute force and violent crackdowns. Eventually, the civil unrest evolved into a full-fledged armed rebellion rather than just a series of disjointed popular protests after a litany of military sieges over the span of eight months. The armed opposition to the government primarily consists of members of the Free Syrian Army, which formed during the course of the insurrection, and represented the first group to take up arms against the government in 2011. In 2013, the Islamic Front formed, and Hezbollah entered the war that same year to support the Syrian Army. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had gained much traction in eastern Syria as a jihadist group whose members were Iraqi. ISIL quickly garnered several key military victories in both Iraq and Syria, which resulted in ISIL fighting against other rebel groups. By the middle of 2014, ISIL was firmly in control of over a third of Syrian territory as well as its oil and gas resources. As such, ISIL emerged as the most powerful opposition force to the Assad regime. The United Nations did report that the conflict in Syria was sectarian in nature, as the Alawite government forces combined with other Shia militias and groups were pitted against the Sunni rebel groups (“Sunni v. Shia,” 2013). The United States has hitherto remained steadfast in its refusal to send ground troops in order to intervene in the conflict. Rather than resolve this conflict through military intervention, the United States must follow in the footsteps of the United Nations by building coalitions and implementing economic sanctions in order to force Assad to resolve the conflict through political means. As a result, such solutions would facilitate the efforts of global coalitions in dismantling the Islamic State.
In 1946, Syria transformed into an autonomous republic, although democracy was weeded out after a successful coup in 1949. After a litany of coups in 1949, Syria witnessed a popular uprising in 1954 in which the Syrian army transferred political power to Syrian citizens. For three years beginning in 1958, Syria and Egypt forged a union during which an autocratic regime replaced the parliamentary system. In 1966, another coup forced the Syrian political leaders operating under the Ba’ath Syrian Regional Branch to abdicate power. General Hafez al-Assad, who had served as Syria’s Minister of Defense and belonged to a religious minority group, usurped power in 1970. During that year, he declared himself to be Syria’s president, and he served the country in that political position for three decades until he died. Despite his death, Syria continued to operate under the autocratic President who was voted in vis-à-vis referendum. Bashar al-Assad became president of Syria after his father’s death, which ushered in an epoch of intense sectarian antagonism as well as several grassroots efforts pushing for reform. The explosive situation culminated in the Arab Spring in 2011 and eventually devolved into full-fledged civil war in Syria (Wilson, 2011).
The United Nations has hitherto called on Syrian officials to refrain from using violence against its citizens amidst this crisis. Rather than engage Syrians through a draconian, militaristic approach, the Security General instead has called for Assad and his constituents to engage in a meaningful political dialogue and listen to the demands of his people, slowly enacting reforms in order to appease popular sentiments. At the same time, the United Nations has called for the protection of the Syrian people by demanding the political prisoners be released and that countries around the world provide them with humanitarian aid (Mathias, 2012, p. 220). The Secretary-General has also directly engaged Assad in political discussions and encouraged him to end the blatant human rights violations that have recently been exposed to the world. As a result, the Human Rights Council, a branch of the United Nations, launched an investigation at the end of 2011 of the “alleged violations of international human rights law” (p. 221). Statistics underscore the gross atrocities that continue to plague the region. By the middle of 2014, over 200,000 people had perished. Many global organizations and humanitarian agencies have accused government forces of massacring crowds of people. Some reports of chemical weapons have also stirred up much fear and anxiety in the international community. Government-sponsored bombings have resulted in the deaths of several civilians. The UN has estimated that over three million Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring countries, while over seven million Syrians have been displaced and are at risk as a result of food shortages, unsanitary water, and adverse living conditions in general. Many of the protestors and human rights activists have also been rounded up and incarcerated in facilities where they are brutally tortured on a quotidian basis (“Syria,” 2011). The United States has publically reiterated that it remains steadfastly committed to aiding the innocent men, women and children who are still affected by the Syrian conflict. The U.S. has contributed more than three billion dollars in humanitarian aid, making America the largest donor to address this crisis.
Indeed, the United Nations have time and again urged Syria to arrive at a political solution to end the civil war. Doing so would help global efforts in thwarting the Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has publically stated that several years of war that has taken place between armed rebel groups in Syria and Assad’s forces have facilitated the development and jihadist efforts of militants such as ISIL to gain a stronghold in the region and terrorize global citizens. Ban believes that Assad could become a critical asset in the fight against the Islamic state n the region vis-à-vis arriving at a political and peaceful solution to the Syrian war (Dhabi, 2014). Currently, the threat of a jihadist hub forming in Syria and the surrounding areas has cultivated a sense of fear amongst western countries. While the United States has launched a litany of airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq, it is still nebulous whether or not the U.S. will intervene in some way in Syria (Dhabi, 2014). The Iraqi government had publically supported the deployment of America airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. However, Assad made it quite clear that any U.S. strikes waged against the Islamic militants without his consent would be rendered an act of war and aggression. As such, the prospects of an American-led coalition within the Syrian crisis quickly abated.


Dhabi, A. (2014, September 10). U.N.'s Ban urges Assad to seek political solution to Syria crisis. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from
Mathias, S. (2012). The United Nations and Syria: A work in progress? Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), 106, 220-223.
“Sunni v Shia, here and there (2013). The Economist. Retrieved 17 Feb 2015.
Syria. (2015). US.Aid. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from
Wilson, Scott (25 April 2011). "Syria escalates attacks against demonstrators". The Seattle Times.

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Crisis In Syria Research Paper Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 17, 2020. Accessed July 14, 2024.

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