The reasons behind the current Syrian conflict are many and varied, with a fair bit of he said she said being bantered about these days. Here is a snapshot of five critical things you need to know in order to understand why the Syrian conflict is where it is, and where things might go from here if the situation escalates.
- A wave of revolutions known as the Arab Spring swept through much of the Middle East, toppling governments and destabilizing countries. Syria was one such country, and has been embroiled in a fierce civil war since February 2011. For the most part the world stayed out of it, despite an estimated 100,000 deaths to date.
- In August there was a chemical weapons attack, resulting in the deaths of between 300 to 1,300 civilians. The UK and the US claim the evidence of an attack by the Al-Assad regime is irrefutable, but many other nations believe there is evidence both for and against the Al-Assad regime using them, with numerous theories circulating as to how the rebels could have used these weapons.
- The UN has sent inspectors into Syria, though their work is not proceeding as quickly as the international community would like due to the fact that they were attacked by unidentified individuals.
- Now the Obama administration continues to push for a US attack, while Russia has indicated they will provide military support to Syria in the event of a US attack, unless the UN officials sanction an attack.
- Left hanging are almost 2 million Syrian war refugees, leaving the international community concerned that there will be potentially far more should the conflict escalate.
For now, the world at large has agreed to disagree, with America at odds with Russia, and numerous conflicting reports that will not receive proper attention until after the UN completes their inspections. Even then, it is up in the air as to whether the US will attack without international support.
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