It is only three months that we Indians have been hearing of the West Asian country of Syria quite regularly. But Syria has been soaking in a bloodbath since the year 2011.
The war began in form of an unrest in the year 2011 with nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s. To this Syrian forces responded with violent crackdowns. The conflict gradually was made to escalate from protests to an armed war after months of military campaign. And today Syria stands at the doorstep of complete destruction.
Today Syria is actually a killing concoction in which the official Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad are supported by more than forty militias including the Hezbollah of Lebanon; pitted against rebel factions and groups that number more than fifty-five like the Free Syrian Army, al-Tawhid Brigade, al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida and its allied terror groups, IS terrorists, etc. But what is sending ripples globally is the involvement of all the super powers of the world and their regional allies waging what is seen as ‘Proxy War’ against their enemy coalitions creating a situation which experts recognize as a ‘proto-world war’.
The official international involvement in Syria began with IS increasing its control over vast swathes of Syria in extremely fast and menacing manner. United States responded to this with airstrikes in September 2014 along with its coalition partners – United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan and Bahrain. But these airstrikes targeted IS and Syrian authority under President Assad equally. Israel and Turkey too on their parts have been arming, training and sheltering the militias which are fighting Assad.
On the other hand, exactly a year after United States, in September 2015 Russia has entered the Syrian War on the side on President Assad who was beleaguered by then. The Russians since then have been giving IS and the Syrians rebels a run for their money. The Russians have been joined by Iran and also Lebanese Hezbollah which was already fighting alongside Syrian Armed Forces. The successful campaign by Russia in Syria has resulted in neighbouring Iraq too considering inviting Russia to conduct similar military operations as Iraq has been facing similar situation.
China has sent its naval vessels to join the fight in Syria very recently. This coincides with the 19-nations conference in Austrian capital of Vienna gathered to discuss the Syrian crisis. In addition to the countries mentioned above the conference also included Germany, Italy, Oman, European Union and the United Nations’. But the conference ended without any concrete action plan to end the conflict.
(to be continued…)