Syria is in ruin. The state of affairs in the country are nothing short of a bad, bad dream. Everyone knows that today, it’s every where on social media, news channels and papers etc; but few know the facts and the story behind the crisis that has affected over 12 million people over the last 4 years.
Some of the images in this post may not be suitable for very young readers.
It all began when some students decided to paint slogans against the incumbent regime on school walls. The government retaliated fiercely, but their actions resulted in demonstrations and mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
Increasing violence followed in the months to come as the government tried to suppress protests. Rebel factions formed and the country moved towards a full fledged civil war for control that essentially reached the capital in 2012.
Since then, the conflict has only escalated as rebel factions, splinter groups and opposition fight the government forces, causing 90,000 deaths by 2013 and then going up to 191,000 in 2014 and this year the toll has reached over 250,000 people.
The ensuing violence and conflict made Syria more vulnerable to sectarian clashes between the country’s Sunni majority and the Shia Alwaite sect. This inevitably led to the involvement of neighboring countries with supporters on both sides. The rise of the Islamic State has further complicated matters to take the country in the dismal state it is today.
Human rights abuses are said to have been committed by both sides, the forces fighting for the current regime and those opposing them. These include war crimes like torture, murder, rape and abductions. Moreover, the worst measures have been employed by forces on both sides, such as using the strife of the innocent populace to further their agendas.
Islamic State fighters have been no friends to Syrians either, with mass killings, public executions, murder and torture being ride in northern and eastern parts of Syria. Religious minorities in the country have suffered greatly at their hands, and refugees trying to escape to Turkey have been prevented from doing so.
Use of chemical weapons has also been reported in Syria, with incidents such as the rocket attacks with sarin in Damascus. Even though the incumbent regime agreed to destroy all chemical weapons in 2014, it is believed that agents such as chlorine and ammonia are routinely used in fights and even the Islamic State fighters are believed to be using homemade chemical weapons.
In the midst of all this, world powers, especially the US-led coalition started air strikes in Syria. Similarly, Russia and Iran, which back the incumbent regime also provided support to their allies in what has become a big proxy war often justified as a fight against terrorists, mainly the Islamic State.
In all of this, there are no winners. The people of Syria suffer the most, the civilians, whichever religion or sect they belong to, are humans at first, and the following pictures depict a sand grain’s worth of their suffering.
This father lost his two kids in shelling.
A family after surviving an airstrike.
Man rescuing a baby who survived a bombing.
Syrian refugees trying to escape to Turkey.
A Syrian boy wounded in an airstrike.
What started as a possibly result of the Arab Spring went into a whole new direction with the decisions made by the incumbent regime and the involvement of multiple parties and powers looking to further their own agendas in a region that was primed by conflict. In the end there are no winners, as is evident by the facts and figures which make the Syrian crisis the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.
There are many ways to aid our Muslim brothers and sisters, including donations to responsible charities with whatever we can manage. It is not about picking sides to fight on, but spreading the word so that we all stand informed as an ummah.
While we hope this piece helped put things in perspective for you, more and more people need to know about this. Please share this with your friends and family because this is not about a nation or a religion, it’s about humanity.