A Brief Summary of the Syrian Conflict

Syria has been ruled by the Assad family since 1971, it was one of the many Arab countries that were affected by the Arab spring, with popular protests in 2011 against the 48-year-old emergency law that gave the Assad family powers to rule the country with no regard for Political Freedoms, Human Rights and Social Justices.

The emergency law wasn’t the only thing the Syrians were fed up with, they had experienced decades of corruption with a small elite ruling the rest of the country with impunity.

The peaceful protests soon turned violent as the regime responded by sending the military to silence the protesters. 6 years in, according to UN envoy to Syria, over 400,000 people have died so far in the conflict.


Syria has become a failed state a home for terrorist organizations and a conflict that absorbed opposing regional and international powers each with sets of goals.

We have seen the tides turn back and forth. Just over a year ago it seemed that the Syrian dictatorship was on the back foot as western supported and armed rebels were inside Damascus.


However in its darkest hour the Syrian government got help from its allies such as the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah, Iranian government that gave Syria billions of dollars and sent its revolutionary guards to help the overstretched Syrian army, but the biggest help came from Russia as it looks to flex its muscles and show the world that it’s still a vital military power.

President Putin sent Special Forces, fighter jets and military hardware to Syria using Russia’s base in Tartus.


The Russian jets have changed the game completely and gave the Syrian regime the upper hand as rebels continue to lose ground. Furthermore the biggest development in the Syrian conflict is coming out of Syria’s former economic powerhouse, the city of Aleppo, a city that has been divided by the country’s bitter civil war, western part controlled by the Syrian regime and its allies, and eastern part controlled by the rebels.

As the governments advance continues across the country, the Syrian army has begun what it calls a final push to take over what’s left of Aleppo, urging the rebels to drop their arms and leave the city.


Many analysts and diplomats agree that it’s just a matter of time before the rebels are pushed out of the city. If the regime is able to take over Aleppo that will surely be the biggest victory for Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the civil war.

Ultimately it’s the Syrian people who have taken the brunt of the conflict and continue to suffer in besieged areas inside the country and in refugee camps around the globe with no hope insight.



Aljazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/quarter-million-people-dead-syria-war-150807093941704.html

Aljazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/turkey-strikes-al-bab-area-push-isil-raqqa-161114073915686.html

Aljazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/east-aleppo-161115070403498.html



2 thoughts on “A Brief Summary of the Syrian Conflict

  1. hankano December 1, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    A brief overview of a 5 year long conflict, thats nice.
    No its really a well readable article, though I think the focus of our module is more on public Diplomacy. What would come into my mind in connection to the syrian conflict is e.g how assad portrayed the whole revolution as a project by foreign islamist terrorist and himself as a victim of outside powers or another interesting topic would be how Russia or the US could represent the fights in Aleppo or Mosul respectively as a humanitarian act, where as the reality on both grounds is that these cities are currently the antechambers of hell.


  2. stevencurtislm December 10, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    As the first commentator has noted, it isn’t at all clear how this post is relevant to the module. It is basically a potted history of the conflict with no mention whatsoever of the communications strategies of the actors or the public diplomacy dimensions of the war.

    There is a lot you could have written about in these areas, from Russia’s PR offensive against ‘terrorists’ and its cultural diplomacy following the removal of ISIS from Palmyra (for example, see http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21698422-russian-government-sent-one-countrys-top-orchestras-syrian-desert), not to mention the use of social media by ISIS.

    For further examples of news stories related to the module, search for #GI6007 on Twitter. You’ll see that I and other students on the module have tagged a number of items which might make good subjects for blog posts.

    In terms of presentation, there is inappropriate use of upper-case first letters (reserve them only for the names of specific people, countries and organisations, so not ‘Political Freedoms, Human Rights and Social Justices’ as you have written at the end of the first paragraph). You also need to provide in-text references in a number of places (e.g., the estimate of casualties).


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