Syria Explained

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There has been a violent war in going on in Syria since 2011. It started as an internal civil war, with an uprising of students that was dealt with very harshly by the President, Bashar al-Assad. The region was so volatile that this sparked the Syrian war that has lasted longer than World War II, and involves so many players, all fighting in Syria for very different reasons. It involves countries who back Bashar al-Assad, countries who back the pro-democracy rebel groups, and extremist groups like ISIS that have taken advantage of all the fighting there to come in and claim areas as their own, to establish their own kingdom.

According to CNN and Al Jazeera, there are close to 500,000 people dead, about 1 million injured, and about 12 million people who have had to leave their homes in the region. Half of them are refugees in other countries, and half of them have moved within Syrian borders, trying to save themselves and their families.

Recently, Assad has been suspected of using chemical weapons to kill Syrians who are against him. In retaliation, and to try and prevent Assad from using these chemical weapons again, the US, UK and France led airstrikes where they launched missiles to bomb areas where the chemical weapons were made in Syria.

This story is far from over, but is getting more confusing by the day. Who is on which side?

Written by: Sunaina Murthy

Illustrated by: Shahena Zaveri

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