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Ottoman rule ended
• 1918 October - Arab troops led by Emir Feisal, and supported
by British forces, capture Damascus, end...
French rule
• 1920 June - San Remo conference splits up Feisal's newly-
created Arab kingdom by placing Syria-Lebanon unde...
The road to independence
• 1925-6 - Nationalist agitation against French rule develops into
a national uprising. French fo...
Ethnic divisions drawn from
Colonialism
• The current borders of the Arab world were drawn by
European colonialists withou...
Independence
• 1946  Syria Achieved
Independence
• 1964  Coup D’etat by the
Ba’ath party in 1964 – years
of instability ...
President Hafez al-Assad -
dictator
• President Hafez al-Assad..
1. Reinvented the face of Syrian Politics and the Ba’ath
...
Hafez Al-Assad
• Hafez Assad after seizing power channeled
wealth into the state – channeled funds to
the state bureaucrac...
Bashar Assad –democracy?
#sike
• In 2000 he gave the illusion of democracy in his
inaugural speech when he seceded his fat...
All Hail Bashar Assad
• For ten years corruption returned, political oppression
continued and nepotism (the practice among...
Ethnic Groups
• Sunni Arabs, by far the largest ethno-religious group – 65%
of the population
• The Kurds, non-Arab Sunnis...
Since 1963
• 2011 before the uprising (a year after Bashar
became president)
• Syrians had lived under martial law since 1...
Syrian Civil War
•More than 3.2 million Syrian
people have sought refuge in
Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
•The Syrian ...
What set the war off?
• The Syrian uprising started as a reaction to the Arab Spring, a
series of anti-government protests...
February 2011
• February 2011 Russia and China block a UN Security Council
draft resolution on Syria. The UN says that mor...
Da’ara
• How the Civil war began…
• 15 high school students wrote graffiti “"The people want the
regime to fall" — the man...
Dara’a political prisoners
• Assad responded immediately, sending a high-ranking
delegation to deliver his condolences to ...
The Arab Spring
• The crisis in Syria was prompted by protests in mid-March
2011 calling for the release of political pris...
MID MARCH 2011
• By mid-March, the ASSAD regime started responding with
violence, shooting a few protesters, and their fun...
End of March 2011
• More people were killed at massive protests near
the Omari Mosque in late March, as the protests start...
April 21 2011
• After the alleged end to emergency rule on April 21,
enormous protests across 20 towns on April 22 led to ...
The regime stopped playing
“nice” MAY 2011• Dara’a was surrounded by tanks in late April with thousands of
troops, first s...
The Ruthless regime
• A UN report later assessed that thousands of children were
arrested and detained with adults by the ...
Funeral shootings
• Mass funerals were held in early June, but by later in 2011,
funerals for dead protesters had to be he...
June 2011 iran and shi’ia join
the regime
• By mid-June 2011, helicopter gunship attacks on northern
towns had sent thousa...
Mid june snc joins in
• By mid-June, the Syrian National Council had been organized
to lead now self-proclaimed "revolutio...
The world condemns the
regime
• The numbers grew even larger in protests throughout Syria
during July, finally prompting U...
Free syrian army – FSA
• On July 29, a group of defecting army officials formed the
Free Syrian army to respond to the reg...
August *hi russia
• Canada, France, the US, Germany, and UK all
called for Assad to resign. But Putin began to
ramp up his...
FSA vs. NDF and Syrian Army
• By September 2011, the FSA and Syrian army were engaged in
a pitched battle in Rastan. Here ...
Sept 2011 - November 2012
assad regime drops bombs
on civilian apartments• A pitched battle for control of Homs, followed ...
The un brings in Kofi Annan
april – july 2012
• Former secretary general of the united nations  50 years
working for the ...
Sunni rebels 2012
• But by late 2012, many fighters from other Sunni nations had
come to Syria to help the rebellion, incl...
ISIL vs. FSA vs. Assad
• ·By early 2012, despite its break with Al Qaeda (which
considered ISIS too extremist!) ISIS had d...
ISIL, SUNNI in Iraq
• Some of these ISIS leaders had been military in the Sunni
regime of Hussein in Iraq, and had been re...
Creation of isil – al-qaida said
they were too violent and
parted way #truestory• ISIL – genesis owed to Assad regime; Ass...
2013
• But 2013, then, Western governments had waited too long to
the moderate Sunnis, leaving extremist Sunni elements to...
KURDS
• Kurds in northeastern Syria would eventually fight against
some of these Sunni extremist groups in 2013 too, while...
March 2013
• 2013 March - Syrian warplanes bomb the northern city of
Raqqa after rebels seize control. US and Britain pled...
April 2013 hezbollah
• Hezbollah Enters Qusayr and massacres begin. By April 2013,
Hezbollah sent over 7000 fighter into S...
Chemical warfare
• Chemical attack and the West's Abortive Response. During
2013 the regime had started using Scud missile...
Usa responds; French air
strikes
• The American government responded by pushing the charge
of chemical weapons use as the ...
Britain
• In a move that should be remembered by history, the leader of the
British Labor party Edward Miliband, sensing a...
USA war?
• Obama publicly said that he might call for a vote in Congress
• Public opposition in a war-weary US mounted and...
Chemical war, Putin, Obama
• Putin proposed broker a Syrian handover of their chemical weapons,
giving Obama a way out (gi...
• The Russians could have explained to Assad that further use
of chemical weapons would increase pressure for
internationa...
The regime shows support of
Anti-war sentiment in USA
• The regime, emboldened by the West's capitulation to anti-
war pub...
Assad and hezbollah
• Emboldened the failed efforts of NATO powers to organize air
strikes on Assad's forces, and by conti...
FSA asks for peace at
geneva
• Yet the offer was ignored, and Russia and Iran put no pressure
on Assad's regime to negotia...
Rebels fighting off Assad and
ISIS
• The rebels fell into more disarray, with the FSA having to fight
off extremists from ...
June 2014
• In June, having already taken Raqqa and gained control of
almost a third of Syria, ISIS launched its major off...
Foreign Military Intervention
• A U.S. military intervention with possible NATO participation
(or at least that of the Uni...
Afghanistan and Iraq keep the
USA from intervening through
military intervention ? Or the fear
of isil taking syria in pla...
airstrikes
• Caliphate' in east
• Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants declare "caliphate" in
territory from Aleppo t...
Russia air strikes
• 2015 May - Islamic State fighters seize the ancient city of
Palmyra in central Syria, raising concern...
Russia “helps” rebels? Oh hi
Britain *waves*
• 2015 September - Russia carries out first air strikes in Syria,
saying it t...
• Constrained by concerns about defections, Assad relies on his
elite Alawite units, overwhelming firepower, and sectarian...
• For the foreseeable future, no government will be able to rule
all of what was the modern state of Syria.
• A political ...
• The global powers of US, European Union and Russia all play a
role in the Syrian civil war. They fear that the conflict ...
Syria: battle between good
and evil? #westernmedia
• The narrative that dominates American politics certainly
paints the s...
In Brief
• Rebel groups are too scattered, fighting battles locally for
territory and regional reasons
• Ethno-sectarian w...
Defeating isIL?
• If defeating the Islamic State is important, then it has to
become the overriding priority, allying with...
The reality
• Of Syria’s myriad ethnic and religious elements—Salafis, Shias,
Kurds, and secularists wish to dispose of Pr...
Agree?
•“But there is no chance of
peace, anyway it will be very
difficult for people to live
together in the future, we
k...
Syrian Civil War - History and Background
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Syrian Civil War - History and Background

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An outline of the Syrian Civil War from 1920 - Present day.

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  • @Ginela madelin Miranda Jimenez But they are totally unreliable from 1949 onwards! It is written by person or poersons affiliated to the Muslim Brothers, or similar terrorist outfits. I would suggest you be careful whatever you derive from these stale notes.
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  • One notices how the composer of this nonsense omits the period of total instability caused by the United States through three "regime changes" in Syria from 1949 - 1954! Then we get the usual nonsensical tirade about the 'etnnicities' in Syria and the dominance of one, the Alawites - again the product of the US CIA and other sources of stale imaginations. In every corner of Syrian liberated by the Syrian Army and its allies masses poured in to the street, as we saw in Western videos. The best thing to deal with this rediculous set of slides is to ignore them 0 if one is looking for facts!. The syrian people
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  • Hello! Who wants to chat with me? Nu photos with me here http://bit.ly/helenswee
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  • I like the points writen and explained here!!!!!
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Syrian Civil War - History and Background

  1. 1. Ottoman rule ended • 1918 October - Arab troops led by Emir Feisal, and supported by British forces, capture Damascus, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule. • 1919 - Emir Feisal backs Arab self-rule at the Versailles peace conference, following the defeat of Germany and the Ottoman Empire in World War I. • 1919 June - Elections for a Syrian National Congress are held. The new assembly includes delegates from Palestine. • 1920 March – BOUNDARIES DRAWN  The National Congress proclaims Emir Feisal king of Syria "in its natural boundaries" from the Taurus mountains in Turkey to the Sinai desert in Egypt.
  2. 2. French rule • 1920 June - San Remo conference splits up Feisal's newly- created Arab kingdom by placing Syria-Lebanon under a French mandate, and Palestine under British control. • 1920 July - French forces occupy Damascus, forcing Feisal to flee abroad. • 1920 August - France proclaims a new state of Greater Lebanon. • 1922 - Syria is divided into three autonomous regions by the French, with separate areas for the Alawis on the coast and the Druze in the south.********* important
  3. 3. The road to independence • 1925-6 - Nationalist agitation against French rule develops into a national uprising. French forces bombard Damascus. • 1928 - Elections held for a constituent assembly, which drafts a constitution for Syria. French High Commissioner rejects the proposals, sparking nationalist protests. • 1936 - France agrees to Syrian independence in principle but signs an agreement maintaining French military and economic dominance. • 1940 - World War II: Syria comes under the control of the Axis powers after France falls to German forces. • 1941 - British and Free French troops occupy Syria. General De Gaulle promises to end the French mandate. • 1945 - Protests over the slow pace of French withdrawal. • 1946 - Last French troops leave Syria.
  4. 4. Ethnic divisions drawn from Colonialism • The current borders of the Arab world were drawn by European colonialists without understanding the deeper ethno-religious structure in Arab society. • “Syrian” in 1920 as a concept did no exist. Syrians then thought of themselves as “arab” • An attempt to impose the European model of the nation state in a region where it simply did not fit. One can argue that Syria falls within these improperly drawn borders.
  5. 5. Independence • 1946  Syria Achieved Independence • 1964  Coup D’etat by the Ba’ath party in 1964 – years of instability resulted. • 1970 – minister of defense General Hafez al- Assad seized power dubbing himself Prime Minister initially and then President a year later in 1971.
  6. 6. President Hafez al-Assad - dictator • President Hafez al-Assad.. 1. Reinvented the face of Syrian Politics and the Ba’ath party by dividing the state apparatus between different communities and centering power around him and his family. 2. Showed favoritism to the Alawite community giving them special favors such as high level government positions and control over the state military and intelligence apparatus. 3. He gave himself, as President the power to veto all government decisions and multi party elections for presidency ceased to take place. So basically no one could challenge his authority – no elections were held.
  7. 7. Hafez Al-Assad • Hafez Assad after seizing power channeled wealth into the state – channeled funds to the state bureaucracy, military, businesses and anyone connect TO THE STATE. • Why? To ENSURE his own future – military and bourgeois (elite) would help Assad regime maintain his rule. • All hail Assad…
  8. 8. Bashar Assad –democracy? #sike • In 2000 he gave the illusion of democracy in his inaugural speech when he seceded his father in June of 2000. • For 8 months there was a change in the political climate of Syria – amnesties granted to political prisoners, a free press started to take shape… • Two human rights organizations even came into being… • Pro democracy was becoming popular…. And then the Ba’ath party reined in the reforms and the status quo returned. • Can’t have too muchfreedom right?
  9. 9. All Hail Bashar Assad • For ten years corruption returned, political oppression continued and nepotism (the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs) ruled.
  10. 10. Ethnic Groups • Sunni Arabs, by far the largest ethno-religious group – 65% of the population • The Kurds, non-Arab Sunnis with their own ambitions, compose eight percent of the total. • The Alawite sect of Shia Islam (only 13%) controls the state bureaucracy almost entirely. FAVOURED BY ASSAD REGIME! • Christians 10% compose the only other significant “ethnic group,” • Druze, Turkoman 3.2% each
  11. 11. Since 1963 • 2011 before the uprising (a year after Bashar became president) • Syrians had lived under martial law since 1963 • Intimidation ,detainment, torture via the mukhabarat – state security/intelligence • Corruption was everywhere, infrastructure was poor and Syria had an education system that was archaic… • Unemployment – 30%
  12. 12. Syrian Civil War •More than 3.2 million Syrian people have sought refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. •The Syrian civil war is said to have created one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history.
  13. 13. What set the war off? • The Syrian uprising started as a reaction to the Arab Spring, a series of anti-government protests across the Arab world inspired by the fall of the Tunisian regime in early 2011. • The root of the start of the conflict: anger over unemployment (30%), decades of dictatorship (under Assad, Alawites, Ba’ath party) corruption and state violence under of the Middle East’s most repressive regimes. • Protests against the government spread from Damascus to Homs and the southern city of Daraa, often after Friday prayers. These were entirely peaceful marches, but they were mainly by people from the Sunni majority (69%) in Syria. They were also led by people who supported a secular regime, with no intent to establish a Sunni religious government. (Sunni’s controlled Syria territory before the 1940’s.)
  14. 14. February 2011 • February 2011 Russia and China block a UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria. The UN says that more than 7,500 people have died since the security crackdown began.
  15. 15. Da’ara • How the Civil war began… • 15 high school students wrote graffiti “"The people want the regime to fall" — the mantra of revolution. On the walls of a school. • They were thrown in jail and sources say they were tortured • Syria following the example of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia.. got its first strong taste of rebellion in the Arab Spring.
  16. 16. Dara’a political prisoners • Assad responded immediately, sending a high-ranking delegation to deliver his condolences to the families of the dead. • 15 kids released. • Protesters have gave the Syrian government until the morning of March 25 to meet a list of demands  If the demands were not met  March 25 will become the "Friday of the Martyrs" not just in Dara'a and its province, Hauran, which shares a border with Jordan, but throughout the country. • Assad is unlikely to meet demands that include lifting the 48- year-old emergency law and releasing all political prisoners. • Do you think he does?
  17. 17. The Arab Spring • The crisis in Syria was prompted by protests in mid-March 2011 calling for the release of political prisoners. • National security forces responded to widespread, initially peaceful demonstrations with brutal violence. From summer 2011 onwards, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refused to halt attacks and implement the meaningful reforms demanded by protestors. • July 2011  accounts emerged from witnesses, victims, the media, and civil society that government forces had subjected civilians to arbitrary detention, torture, and the deployment and use of heavy artillery.
  18. 18. MID MARCH 2011 • By mid-March, the ASSAD regime started responding with violence, shooting a few protesters, and their funerals became new protest marches. • Assad initially sent a delegation to apologize for deaths in Daraa, his forces fired into a crowd on March 20, leading protesters to burn down a local Baathist party office. • The protesters increasingly call for democracy in Syria and an end to four decades of "emergency rule" by decree.
  19. 19. End of March 2011 • More people were killed at massive protests near the Omari Mosque in late March, as the protests starting topping 100,000 people. • The regime released 260 political prisoners in late March in attempt to appease the protests • Protests continued into April with more police shootings and arrests of protesters.
  20. 20. April 21 2011 • After the alleged end to emergency rule on April 21, enormous protests across 20 towns on April 22 led to further crackdown. • People were infuriated by continued police killing of protesters, called more and more for an end to the Assad regime rather than merely political reforms towards democratic rights. • This is when the people became more hostile calling for the ASSAD REGIME TO END.. No more playing “nice” by asking for democratic rights that would not be received…
  21. 21. The regime stopped playing “nice” MAY 2011• Dara’a was surrounded by tanks in late April with thousands of troops, first snipers on rooftops. Over 250 killed and hundreds of protesters arrested in their homes. Food supplies to Dara’a were cut off through May in effort to starve protesters out. • Douma, a poor suburb of Damascus, was also encircled and political arrests carried out at hundreds of homes. • May  Homs was also besieged with police carrying out waves out house searches and mass arrests. The same pattern was repeated all over syria. • The bodies of arrested protesters began to come back to their families dead, and showing signs of torture -- including horrific injuries to teenage boys (eyes gouged out, kneecaps broken, genital mutilation, etc).
  22. 22. The Ruthless regime • A UN report later assessed that thousands of children were arrested and detained with adults by the regime in 2011 and 2012. Many were tortured. Many children were also killed and maimed by army attacks on anti-government protests. • Soldiers who refused to fire on protesters began to be executed by the regime. • By the end of May the regime was using machine guns on homes in Talbisha. • It was at this point that some protesters understandably began to call for armed resistance.
  23. 23. Funeral shootings • Mass funerals were held in early June, but by later in 2011, funerals for dead protesters had to be held at night or in secret to avoid attacks by government snipers targeting mourners. Yes that's correct: Assad and Shi'a militia commanders instructed snipers to shoot a Sunnis trying to bury their dead.
  24. 24. June 2011 iran and shi’ia join the regime • By mid-June 2011, helicopter gunship attacks on northern towns had sent thousands of refugees towards the Turkish border. Iranian elite troops had joined their Shi'ia comrades to help the regime's attacks. Regime troops initially tried to prevent refugees from crossing into Turkey.
  25. 25. Mid june snc joins in • By mid-June, the Syrian National Council had been organized to lead now self-proclaimed "revolution" forces against the regime. • Revolution begins to fight back. • Enormous protests in Hama, over 200,000 near the end of June, still produced no response other than attacks by the regime. • On July 1, over 500,000 protested in Hama, with many thousands also protesting in Damascus. But the regime sent tanks towards Hama in response. • July 7: the French and US ambassadors joined a similar protest of over half a million in Hama.
  26. 26. The world condemns the regime • The numbers grew even larger in protests throughout Syria during July, finally prompting UN condemnation of human rights violations by the regime in early August. • On August 8, the King of Saudi Arabia condemned the Assad regime, withdrew ambassador. • Egypt also condemned the Assad regime, but Assad began to call all the native protestors in Syria "terrorists" and "foreign agents," a rhetorical device that continues to this day
  27. 27. Free syrian army – FSA • On July 29, a group of defecting army officials formed the Free Syrian army to respond to the regime's violence. This was after the death toll among protesters had reached over 5000. The FSA grew to 20,000 strong by December, and double this by July 2012. • Had no single leadership until December 2012 • Was never able to control all the groups fighting against Assad; Its control has weakened as it lost ground after spring 2013.
  28. 28. August *hi russia • Canada, France, the US, Germany, and UK all called for Assad to resign. But Putin began to ramp up his support, flying in more arms and supplies to the Syrian army. • Russia and China began pressing western nations not to intervene in Syria's "internal affairs" -- the code word for absolute state sovereignty no matter what the extreme violations of individual human rights.
  29. 29. FSA vs. NDF and Syrian Army • By September 2011, the FSA and Syrian army were engaged in a pitched battle in Rastan. Here as elsewhere the FSA would be forced to withdraw.
  30. 30. Sept 2011 - November 2012 assad regime drops bombs on civilian apartments• A pitched battle for control of Homs, followed by a siege from Assad forces surrounding rebel areas, bombed houses and helicopters dropped barrel bombs on apartment buildings. • Tareq-al-bab was bombed on Dec. 28, 2012. • This strategy set a pattern throughout the war; with whole families buried beneath ruins, people including children dying after days of terrible suffering under piles of rubble that could not be moved by rescuers in time. • The targeting of civilian apartments and houses in these attacks is intentional, not merely a result of missed targets by fast-flying aircraft. Increasingly from mid-2012, Assad's helicopters have dropped barrel bombs directly on housing.
  31. 31. The un brings in Kofi Annan april – july 2012 • Former secretary general of the united nations  50 years working for the UN • April-July 2012: while Kofi Annan was trying to broker a ceasefire on behalf of the UN, the regime stepped up attacks and large-scale executions. Alawite militias with the blessing of the regime began attacking vulnerable targets, killing Sunni civilians by scores at a time • International disarray over the bloody crisis in Syria has been starkly underlined when the UN envoy announced that Annan was resigning because of the failure of what he said had become a "mission impossible". • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-19823774
  32. 32. Sunni rebels 2012 • But by late 2012, many fighters from other Sunni nations had come to Syria to help the rebellion, including some from more extremist (jihadist or fundamentalist) groups such as the • Al Nusra front and the Islamic Front and later ISIS (the "Islamic State in Syria" or ISIL = "the Islamic State in the Levant." The Free Syrian Army units found themselves working alongside, and increasing in tension with, other groups not under their command.
  33. 33. ISIL vs. FSA vs. Assad • ·By early 2012, despite its break with Al Qaeda (which considered ISIS too extremist!) ISIS had doubled its ranks to 2500.[4] • This made great PR for Assad and forced the Free Syrian army and other rebel groups originating from the moderates who led the rebellion to fight foreign Sunni jihadists on one side while fighting Assad's forces on the other. The FSA advances thus slowed in late 2012.
  34. 34. ISIL, SUNNI in Iraq • Some of these ISIS leaders had been military in the Sunni regime of Hussein in Iraq, and had been released from US prisoner-of-war camps in Iraq (famously including Al-Bagdadi, the top commander of ISIS). • April 2014, other jihadi leaders who helped populate ISIS had been invited in by Assad's government itself as part of various strategies, including sending extreme Salafists into Iraq to fight the US forces there. Assad was especially concerned that after Hussein's Ba’athist regime was ousted, that his own Baathist regime would be next.
  35. 35. Creation of isil – al-qaida said they were too violent and parted way #truestory• ISIL – genesis owed to Assad regime; Assad provided training and support to al-Qaida in Iraq during US occupation. US left and control Shifted to the Iraq Shia government who persecuted the Iraqi Sunni population. • ISIL – Shia government of Iraq started leading brutal attacks against the sunni population. Al-Qaida was recruited to defend Iraq’s Sunni's. Assad trained Al-Qaida to help support them. • faction of Al-Qaida currently under the leadership of Abu-Bakr-al- Baghdadi declared along with his al-Qaida faction to be the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant IS – defeated the Iraqi Army – liberated prisoners, robbed banks and armories spreading fear and terror. ISIL was disavowed by Ayman al-Zawahirir – Al- Qaida leader at the time – too much brutality and violence but now ISIL is more prominent than al-Qaida.
  36. 36. 2013 • But 2013, then, Western governments had waited too long to the moderate Sunnis, leaving extremist Sunni elements to fill the void. Ever since, this has given opponents of intervention a new reason to hold back: now any arms sent to the rebels could fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked groups. • Extremists were coming to syria from all over.
  37. 37. KURDS • Kurds in northeastern Syria would eventually fight against some of these Sunni extremist groups in 2013 too, while remaining neutral towards the Assad regime. • This rise of extremist groups not allied with the original (more moderate Sunni) rebels in Syria is partly a result of the rage occasioned by Assad's atrocities. But it is also partly an intentional strategy by Assad to make it look like his opponents are all Al-Qaeda-style "terrorists," as the Assad regime constantly calls all of its opponents.
  38. 38. March 2013 • 2013 March - Syrian warplanes bomb the northern city of Raqqa after rebels seize control. US and Britain pledge non- military aid to rebels.
  39. 39. April 2013 hezbollah • Hezbollah Enters Qusayr and massacres begin. By April 2013, Hezbollah sent over 7000 fighter into Syria from Lebanon to help the Assad regime • Rebels later retook Qusayr, but by June the regime had full control of the town again. • The atrocities against Sunni civilians who were stuck in the town were extreme. Similar massacres of innocent Sunni civilians followed when Hezbollah fighters and Alawite militias entered Al Bayda and then Baniyas. The BBC showed video footage taken by the attackers for bragging purposes in which scores of men and boys shot execution-style and all lined up for counting. The videos also show many families shot at point blank in their homes, and many other homes torched with the residents still inside.
  40. 40. Chemical warfare • Chemical attack and the West's Abortive Response. During 2013 the regime had started using Scud missiles to attack rebel positions. The bitterest fighting during the turning point of the war (going against the rebels) involved the launching of chemical weapons-loaded missile at the Ghouda suburbs outside Damascus to clear out opposition before a regime offensive into the area. The US reported 1429 killed in this chemical attack.
  41. 41. Usa responds; French air strikes • The American government responded by pushing the charge of chemical weapons use as the UN investigation began. During the last days of August 2013, the tide almost turned back against the regime as a result. • In France, President Hollande finally called for air strikes on Assad. Obama agreed an went on television to say the red line had been crossed and to call for a military response. But he first looked to support from the UK to complete the deal. The British Prime Minister David Cameron called for a vote in Parliament, fairly confident of winning by a slim majority.
  42. 42. Britain • In a move that should be remembered by history, the leader of the British Labor party Edward Miliband, sensing a chance to embarrass Prime Minister Cameron decided to hijack the effort to unite a coalition to stop Assad. • Taking Cameron by surprise, he pulled out all stops to convert as many Labor, Liberal and some Tory MPs to his side to vote against intervention. He was joined by Crispin Blunt, former Tory head of Military Affairs, who opposed intervention even after the chemical attacks. • Cameron lost by 4 votes, while several of his own MPs including a couple ministers had not made it back to Parliament for the emergency session, not thinking they would be needed. Then on August 30, perhaps belatedly realizing that he had destroyed the best chance to stop Assad in the history of the war, Miliband cynically suggested that we should find "other ways" to help the Syrian victims.
  43. 43. USA war? • Obama publicly said that he might call for a vote in Congress • Public opposition in a war-weary US mounted and it became evident that more Republicans than initially expected might vote against air strikes on Assad -- despite the fact that the entire foreign policy establishment from Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice and other leaders in the State dept had long favored air strikes.
  44. 44. Chemical war, Putin, Obama • Putin proposed broker a Syrian handover of their chemical weapons, giving Obama a way out (given Syria was an ally and the USA going to war would be rather messy) • That process of handing over the Syrian stockpile began in late 2013 but since then, the Assad regime has simply shifted to using chlorine and mustard gas attacks instead, and chemical warheads are still being launched by Assad's forces to this day. • the Assad regime and Russia insist that as of mid-April 2014, 65% of the chemical weapons have been processed and moved to a Mediterranean sea port, but this port is still in Syria. • In April 2014, a few US military commanders used this as a basis for arguing against Kerry's renewed calls for air strikes, insisting that we need to give more time for the chemical weapons to be moved out first. Of course the regime knows this and is stalling on the chemical weapons for precisely this reason.
  45. 45. • The Russians could have explained to Assad that further use of chemical weapons would increase pressure for international action against the Syrian regime which not even the Russians might be able to prevent and that, therefore, his chemical weapons had in fact been rendered useless. But by agreeing to give them up, Assad could appear reasonable and improve his chances of survival during the long and complicated cleanup mission. Sometimes, a lizard has to lose its tail to survive. • What do you think?
  46. 46. The regime shows support of Anti-war sentiment in USA • The regime, emboldened by the West's capitulation to anti- war public sentiment, began tremendous assaults on Sunni cities in late 2013. • "Syrian doctor: 'I lost count of the amputations' after assaults on Aleppo’
  47. 47. Assad and hezbollah • Emboldened the failed efforts of NATO powers to organize air strikes on Assad's forces, and by continuing Russian material support, the Assad regime and its Hezbollah allies (with paramilitary gangs of Alawite fighters and some militias from Iraq too) made progress against the rebels in late 2013. • Assad government made no substantive offers at all during the Geneva peace conference organized by the US and Russia in Jan. 2014. As Ambassador Ford has explained, the representatives of the FSA and other more moderate nationalist groups opposed to Assad made a substantial offer, in writing, at that Geneva conference to accept a transitional government without any immediate requirement for Assad to go.
  48. 48. FSA asks for peace at geneva • Yet the offer was ignored, and Russia and Iran put no pressure on Assad's regime to negotiate in good faith, because Assad's forces were doing so much better after the failed effort to coordinate a western intervention in Sept. 2013.
  49. 49. Rebels fighting off Assad and ISIS • The rebels fell into more disarray, with the FSA having to fight off extremists from ISIS who came into the void left by western nations via non-intervention and took control of many areas east of Syria's largest cities.
  50. 50. June 2014 • In June, having already taken Raqqa and gained control of almost a third of Syria, ISIS launched its major offensive into Iraq, conquering much of the Sunni areas in the northwest and pushing into Mosul, a major Sunni and Kurd city in the north. Several divisions of Iraqi forces melted away before this advance or perhaps 10,000 ISIS fighters, largely because too many army officers were primarily loyal to Malaki (the Shi'a prime minister) and cared little for Sunni and Kurd areas of the nation. • ISIL is making its way through territory while the Assad regime and rebels are distracted by their own war…
  51. 51. Foreign Military Intervention • A U.S. military intervention with possible NATO participation (or at least that of the United Kingdom and France) could change the course of events in favor of the rebels. But the dynamics of Assad’s foreign support (RUSSIA) coupled with the disunity and outright conflict among the rebel forces, suggest that the chances of ending the fighting in Syria are next to none. • Unlikely that foreign powers would be willing to make the investment necessary to oust Assad with military force. More likely, any foreign military campaign would focus on reducing Assad’s airpower
  52. 52. Afghanistan and Iraq keep the USA from intervening through military intervention ? Or the fear of isil taking syria in place of assad? Or is it fear of a world war? (russia backs syria)• The hard lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus new variables in Syria, complicate things for countries like the United States that have openly declared their desire to remove Assad without articulating a convincing strategy of how this might be accomplished or what might take Assad’s place.
  53. 53. airstrikes • Caliphate' in east • Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants declare "caliphate" in territory from Aleppo to eastern Iraqi province of Diyala. • 2014 August - Tabqa airbase, near the northern city of Raqqa, falls to Islamic State militants, who now control entire Raqqa province. • 2014 September - United States and five Arab countries launch air strikes against Islamic State around Aleppo and Raqqa.
  54. 54. Russia air strikes • 2015 May - Islamic State fighters seize the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria, raising concerns that they might destroy the pre-Islamic World Heritage site. They also capture last border crossing to Iraq. Jaish al-Fatah takes control of Idlib Province, putting pressure on government's coastal stronghold of Latakia. • 2015 June - Islamic State and Kurdish fighters intensify fighting between Raqqa and Turkish border. Kurds take Ain Issa and border town of Tal Abyad, Islamic State attacks Kobane and seizes part of Hassakeh, the main city in north-eastern Syria.
  55. 55. Russia “helps” rebels? Oh hi Britain *waves* • 2015 September - Russia carries out first air strikes in Syria, saying it targets the Islamic State group. But West and Syrian opposition say it overwhelmingly targets anti-Assad rebels instead. • 2015 December - Britain joins US-led bombing raids against Islamic State in wake of Paris suicide bombing attacks. • Syrian Army allows rebels to evacuate remaining area of Homs, returning Syria's third-largest city to government control after four years.
  56. 56. • Constrained by concerns about defections, Assad relies on his elite Alawite units, overwhelming firepower, and sectarian loyalists. • The rebels cannot be crushed, but they depend on others to bring down Assad (TOO disorganized; not cohesive as a group). • Pro-government militias are likely to play an increasingly dominant role in the conflict. • Islamic hardliners will increasingly dominate the rebellion.
  57. 57. • For the foreseeable future, no government will be able to rule all of what was the modern state of Syria. • A political settlement is unlikely. • Assad's willingness to surrender his chemical weapons will neither end the conflict nor weaken his regime. • The sectarian undercurrents that divide the country and the region have become the central pathology of the Syrian conflict — they will impede its resolution. • Syria's national institutions are eroding — they are being replaced by local and foreign loyalties. • Foreign fighters flocking to Syria pose a future international terrorist threat.
  58. 58. • The global powers of US, European Union and Russia all play a role in the Syrian civil war. They fear that the conflict could spill over the border to affect their neighboring countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, creating a regional disaster.
  59. 59. Syria: battle between good and evil? #westernmedia • The narrative that dominates American politics certainly paints the struggle as a black and white: between freedom- lovers and bloodthirsty authoritarians. • But in reality, the struggle should be described only in a smear of grays. • The story of Syria is not that of a unified rebel army, acting on a popular mandate against an unsupported tyrant. • Syria…the story of a multi-layered, kaleidoscopic civil war.
  60. 60. In Brief • Rebel groups are too scattered, fighting battles locally for territory and regional reasons • Ethno-sectarian war between 2 major ethnic groups and sub groups who constantly switch sides • Assad regime versus rebel groups • Jihadists seeking to take Damascus (capital of Syria) • If the Assad regime is overthrown and ISIL takes Damascus due to Syria physiography and location in the Middle East this could make it hard to take ISIL down. • Nations with self interests… *waves at Russia* • 6 major issues! And a bunch of minor issues! • Also the regional, ethnic and religious groups of Syria will never live in peace again… loss of HOPE for peace.
  61. 61. Defeating isIL? • If defeating the Islamic State is important, then it has to become the overriding priority, allying with any outside forces that will join the fight. If Assad falls and jihadis take Damascus, that would be worse than if Assad stays. • This doesn’t mean providing Assad with any support, but allowing him to create an Alawite enclave in Syria, of a kind that is already forming. The Kurds and moderate Syrians are creating their own safe spaces as well. Even if the civil war ends and a country called Syria remains, these groups will not live all intermingled again.
  62. 62. The reality • Of Syria’s myriad ethnic and religious elements—Salafis, Shias, Kurds, and secularists wish to dispose of President Bashar al- Assad. • MOST are gripped by the constant fears of a post-Assad state, and also wish to disassociate themselves from one another. • The once anti-autocratic rebellion has devolved into an all- encompassing war of ethnicities and ideologies. • Through this devolution, the rebels have destroyed all prospects of a pluralistic, post-Assad democracy, rendering the West’s pro-resistance interventionist designs both unrealistic in their goals and immoral in their effects.
  63. 63. Agree? •“But there is no chance of peace, anyway it will be very difficult for people to live together in the future, we know the Alawites, Shias, Druze and Christians sided with the regime.”

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