Syrian Situation Global Society
Syrian Situation • Assad family has ruled Syria for over 40 years • Minority Alawites ruling over majority Sunnis and others • Bashar Al Assad took over after his father Hafez Al Assad died in 2000 • Continued the same repressive regime • Demonstrations began in Syria after the fall of Egypts Hosni Mubarak • Quickly dispersed by police • Protests continued to grow after other repressive incidents • Assad responded with force to put the protests down • Opponents were arrested or disappeared • Use of violence caused the protests to grow • Civil War commences • Outside nations condemn the brutal response of the Assad regime
Syrian Situation • U.S. government seeks ways to get Assad to stop the attacks on the Syrian people. • Britain and France propose UN Resolution criticizing Syria • Russia, still a Syrian ally opposes resolution • Outside countries are slow to respond with anything more than words • Afraid to send money or weapons to opposition not knowing where they would end up • Not really sure who will be in control if and when Assad leaves • Eventually will recognize the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in Dec 2012
Syrian Situation • Civil war ensues • Free Syrian Army (FSA) becomes the main opposition force • FSA is made up of various factions including Syrians and outside jihadists like the Al Nusra Front • Al Nusra Front is a jihadist fighting force linked to Al Quaeda in Iraq. Looking to overthrow Assad • Their military success has helped them win the hearts and support of the Syrian people • Slow outside intervention has also led to success • Assad’s responses become increasingly violent against his own people • Uses artillery, tanks and airships • Waging battles in cities like Aleppo and Homs • Threatens to use chemical weapons on his own people.
Syrian Situation • Opposition forces in an attempt to get the upper hand take control of various cities and military bases • Even bringing the battle to Assad’s “backyard” in the city of Damascus
Syrian Situation • Last few weeks there has been a peace envoy trying to broker a peaceful solution • Lakhdar Brahimi United Nations and Arab League Envoy • Pitching a peace plan including establishment of a transitional governemnt until elections could be held • Trying to find an exit plan for Assad • Brahimi has been shuttling between the Syrian Coalition, Russia and Assad • Sergey V Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister has has been involved in the peace plan • Russia is still a partial ally of Assad • Assad doesn’t want to go • Opposition is fragmented making it difficult to know who to deal with
Syrian Situation • Assad gave a speech over the weekend • Hoped to rally support in his country • Hoping to rally support from what few allies he has left • Outside world hoped he would offer a plan to end the conflict • No such luck • Assad claims the opposition is not legitimate and is made up of outside terrorist forces • The only way to deal with this is with a security resolution • Assad has dug his heels in • It looks like it will get worse before it gets better