On March 15th, 2020, the war began its 10th year period…
There have been many shocking news stories over the past decade. One story that made headlines, and is still present in the daily news is the Syrian Civil War. On March 15th, 2020, the war began its 10th year while no one is sure when or even if it will be ending in the near future. This war has been undoubtedly the most televised and reported conflict of the decade. Oftentimes, viewers across the world are unsure who is on whose side.
This war gave birth to an ill-famed group called ISIS, causing unfathomable damage within the country and abroad. The war itself is considered by most experts to be the worst humanitarian crisis of this century. Although many influential politicians and diplomats have called for and worked on peace agreements, so far nothing has been officially agreed upon while millions of lives still hang in the balance. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, wrote on Twitter.
“There is no military solution. Now it is time to give diplomacy a chance to work.”
This comes after having numerous reports and accounts of chemical weapons being used against civilians and other atrocious crimes that goes against international regulations.
This war has claimed over 380 000 lives as of now, with over 110 000 of those being civilians. A result of the conflicts had seen many different foreign countries encroach on the Middle Eastern country’s borders in order to find a peaceful solution. The main belligerents of these have been Syria, Russia, Turkey and the United States of America, although other smaller countries have also played a role.
This war has become an intricate game of frenemies with new players continuously emerging, making it even more complicated for the average viewer to fully comprehend what is truly taking place in the country. The most recent updates show that during the past years, the US indirectly allowed Turkey to reclaim a piece of land on the northern border of the country, which Turkey claims, was crucial to protect their border from Turkish-alleged terrorist groups such as the YPG.
Recently it was reported that Russia and Turkey engaged in a standoff in Idlib, a city located in north-west Syria and the last rebel stronghold. Although both countries soon agreed to a ceasefire, the damage was already done and 1 million civilians were forced to leave.
Despite the tangible consequences for the civilians, it had global side effects as well. It is estimated that since the start of the war, around 11 million Syrian citizens have been displaced domestically or are officially considered to be refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Most of these refugees are currently located in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Germany as well as many other Western countries.
The war has crippled many parts of the world, mainly southern Europe, where the crisis has become a topic of heated discussion amongst politics. Ever since the 2015 “migration crisis”, the rise of populism has become apparent in many countries as it has fuelled a “right-wing” resurgence in many national elections with nationalism being used as a centerpiece for their ideology. Countries like Turkey have sought to increase their influence by using the threat of allowing the refugees in if the EU does not comply with their wishes.
This global crisis still has no end in sight, with battles being still fought within the country. A once-prosperous state has now been reduced to ashes as children are growing up with no memories of their former country. This war will be, without a doubt, remembered by future historians as a stain on the conscience of the world for seeing all the suffering.
The author of this article is Richard Benussi. He currently is in the second year of his BA in International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest. Richard is also a Middle Manager for the Human Resources Team within the International Diplomatic Students Association (IDSA).