Full Official Name: Syrian Arab Republic
Region: Middle East
Ethnic Groups: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenian, and other 9.7%
Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English
Religions: Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10%, Druze 3%
Government: Semi-Presidential Republic
Legislature: People’s Council
A. Syrian Civil War
Type of Conflict: Civil War
Conventionally Dated Period: 15 March 2011 – Present
- Syrian Government
- National Progressive Front
- Syrian Opposition
- Syrian Revolutionary Command Council
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- Kurdish Supreme Committee
In conjunction with the earlier Arab Spring and Arab Winter, demonstrations against Bashar Al-Assad’s autocratic regime became a full rebellion when Assad ordered violent crackdowns against the protesters. Named a sectarian conflict, the Syrian opposition, who mainly professes in Sunni Islam, is trying to take control from the Shiite Alawite regime.
On the other hand, the extremist Islamic State, originating in Iraq, made significant advancements from the East and currently controls a large portion of towns and oil production facilities, effectively establishing them as one of the main opposition. Kurdish forces seeking to create an independent state with other Kurdish regions in Turkey and Iraq are also gaining momentum in this four-way struggle.
As of 2013, the Syrian government controls only about 30-40% of Syrian territory and 60% of the population. The death toll has risen above 220,000 making it one of the deadliest conflicts in the century with many disastrous violations in human rights.
Peace Process: No