Syria has been at war with itself for over seven years and the result has torn the fabric of the Syrian society apart. For the Syrian people, a semblance of normal is merely a memory. Many have become refugees, while others live in hot zones of conflict, where they have to deal with either Assad’s government attacking or the various rebel forces, as well as ISIS forces.
The question is what is behind this civil war and what is it going to take to end this strife that is threatening to destabilize the region even further. As the war between Assad and rebel forces continues, it is clear that Assad is willing to do whatever it takes to win. His allies, which include Russia and Iran, are backing him, despite evidence that he is using chemical weapons on his own people.
Recently, an intense bombing campaign from forces loyal to Assad came to the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta. The sounds related to the bombing are being heard with regular frequency, where at least 190 people have died since Sunday night, according to the war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“I can hear women and children’s crying voices through their houses’ windows,” said the opposition activist in the city of Douma in eastern Ghouta. “There is no way to escape, nowhere to hide.”
Other areas throughout Syria are living with the same constant threat of violence. Rebels are retaliating against government forces, and the death toll continues to mount.
Peace talks between the two sides have not gone well, with neither side being willing to make any concessions. Idlib, which is where people from Aleppo relocated, is now bracing for an attack from government forces.
What is driving this ongoing conflict? Originally, the rebels’ forces were attempting to create a pro-democracy movement and remove President Hafez al-Assad, who is seen as dictator. Thousands have been detained by his security forces, and thousands more have went missing or been tortured.
Since the conflict began, a majority of the deaths and injuries can be attributed to Assad’s military, according to the Violations Documentation Center in Syria. The Syrian government claims the rebels are terrorists and have used their military might to attempt to stomp them out. Different rebel groups do have ties with al-Qaeda, making it difficult to know who is fighting for Syria and who is fighting to sow more discord in the country.
The conflict has also expanded to include other countries, like Russia, Iran, and the Iran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah, as well as regional powers looking to unseat Assad. Other western nations have gotten involved in the conflict to address the ISIS issue within Syria, although in the last year, ISIS has been mostly ousted from the country.
Israel has attacked Hezbollah supply lines, as well as Syrian and Iranian troops, as their distrust of Iran has brought them into the conflict on the fringes. Turkey also is fighting the Kurd YPG forces, which are in Syria. This means that the Syrian government forces and the Kurdish forces are uneasy allies fighting Turkish troops.
Everyone has a reason for being in the country, but the Syrian people are the ones that are paying the price. They are dealing with the bombings, the shifting control of various areas of the country, and the lack of basic necessities, such as food, water, and medical supplies.
The origins of the war are now shrouded in death and destruction. There seems to be no end to the conflict and attempts to negotiate cease-fires have not been successful. However, the current situation in Ghouta is a humanitarian crisis, and there seems to be no end to the fighting and struggle. At the same time, the international community has been unable to come to any consensus on how to address the situation in Syria.
Normal life in Ghouta is completely disrupted, as everything has been targeted from shops to hospitals and schools. Nothing is sacred and the people suffering the most is the civilians.