The Situation in Syria
The warzone that is Syria has led to the displacement of nearly 8 million citizens, most of whom have gone to neighboring countries. The civil war began in 2011 with the “Arab Spring,” a movement designed to overthrow President Assad and the regime that he had initiated in Syria. Assad and his forces fought back against the “rebels,” and civil war has been reigning for nearly five years. The situation in Syria continues to get worse, especially since Russian and Hezbollah (an Islamic group) now support Assad’s efforts. The rebels have occasional support from other countries like Turkey and the United States, but not enough to fight out the powerhouses of Russian and Syrian governments. However, with ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) gaining ground, Syrian rebels are having a much harder time.
How ISIS Affects Syria
Syria has been at war for a few years now, but ISIS is continually gaining more control and more attention. In a war torn nation, ISIS is much more able to find willing participants who will sign up for anything just to get out. In addition, ISIS is ostracizing Syria from the rest of the world. The more attention the “organization” earns, the less people will trust immigrants coming from the region. With multiple attacks all over Europe and Asia, ISIS is making it nearly impossible for the 8 million displaced citizens of Syria to find safe haven. They are also making it more likely that immigration control will stretch to anyone with Middle East or Islamic ties. The civil war continues to go on, but no major government group wants to risk funding terrorist activity.
The Rebels vs. ISIS
The rebels, who began fighting their own government in 2011, are now fighting another enemy: ISIS. Syrian rebels do not want ISIS to gain control over Syria, as that would not change the administration and could possibly only make it worse. For this reason, rebels have taken it upon themselves to remove ISIS from their country in order to prevent a terrorist regime like Al-Qaeda. However, this is splitting the efforts many rebel groups had focused on taking down President Assad’s regime, which makes it harder for them to gain ground in their revolution. ISIS is proving to be a major roadblock, and many on the rebel front believe Assad to be in support of ISIS’s efforts to disband the rebel units.
Other Hands in Syria
Russia, a supporter of Assad, continues to dish out airstrikes against Syrian rebels, but are also taking strikes against ISIS now. ISIS took credit for shooting down a Russian plane in late October, and Russia is now taking it into its own hands. After ISIS attacks in Paris in November, France also dropped 20 bombs on ISIS strongholds. Syria, as a country, risks major damage and casualties if ISIS continues to be a risk to international safety. The major world leaders have to reach an agreement to decide on a plan of action, but many believe the Syrian war has become the start of World War Three.