For four years Syria has been at war.
For four years Syria has had people fleeing their country.
For four years Syria has had people dying.
In a breakdown of the events that have happened in Syria for the past four years, BBC reports that, “more than 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four years of armed conflict…”. But how did this civil war in a country that is only 69 years old start to begin with? Syria gained independence from France in 1946 and almost immediately started having political issues, mainly due to their involvement in the Arab-Israeli War in 1967.Syria was defeated, along with their allies, by the Israeli forces. Syria never really had any political stability in place so that led the Iraqi Baathist regime to be in control of Syria. Fast forward a few years to 2011, and there was a movement created that was in opposition of the Baathist regime. The Baathist currently refer to themselves as a socialist movement and are being led by Bashar al-Assad (interview one link) who was “inherited” the Ba’ath from his father, Hafez al-Assad, after his death. One of the members of the party is quite well known in the States…he goes by Saddam Hussein. Bashar al-Assad was elected as the President of Syria in 2000 and 2007 with nobody running against him for the Presidency. Assad had ordered military sieges on the Arab Spring protesters that were opposing the Baathist regime and wanted a democratic reform. The crackdown on the protests and the military sieges involved kidnapping, killing, torture, and use of chemical weapons on anyone that was against the regime. The protesters decided to arm themselves and fight back against the government and that led to Assad to start destroying entire villages and cities. The back and forth of fighting led to the civil war.
SInce the star of the civil war, many people have been fleeing to surrounding countries for fear of their safety. They have been fleeing to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and even Europe. Many are fleeing the country illegally since they cannot openly flee the country without the government threatening them. The amount of refugees fleeing is astronomical. You can see a further breakdown of the numbers here. This year,more and more press has been surrounded around the Syria refugee crisis. Many people do not have anywhere to flee to and are chased by Syrian forces or allies of the Ba’ath regime. Earlier this month, a Hungarian camerawoman was filming a wave of refugees running from Hungarian police at a Hungarian refugee camp and decided to be involved by tripping a man holding his child while he was running from police. She has since been fired from the Hungarian news network she was affiliated with. The father, who was a soccer coach in Syria, was offered a job and an apartment by the Real Madrid soccer team. You can see how their life changed by reading the NBC News report here.
Not every family is so lucky though. Many families are doing whatever they can to leave their violent home. They are contacting smugglers and leaving by over crowded boats, They are standing in front of a border lined with barb wire and military officials blocking the entry into a different country. They are dying trying to leave their home.
Countries are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of people coming into their countries, yet many are denying them entry, leaving the refugees with nowhere to go.