Analysis: What Is Going On In Syria? Deepening Our Understanding Of The Paris Attacks

A Syrian passport left at one scene of the Paris attacks led to a new possibility that the terrorists entered the country as Syrian refugees.

The passport was discovered near the body of the suicide bomber who attacked a soccer stadium. From the immigration records, it became evident that the owner entered Greece prior to arriving in France. Europe has been caught in a dilemma with the oncoming refugees: it is inhuman to reject refugees who have fled from war in their countries, and yet it leaves the danger of allowing a free pass for terrorists to enter Europe disguised as refugees.

The Syrian conflict lies behind both the Islamic State terrorism and the refugees. What exactly is happening in Syria? This article aims to provide a brief chronological overview of the Syrian conflict.


Arab Spring Gave Rise To The Syrian Conflict

Harking back to 2011, the Syrian conflict began in the North African Islamic nation Tunisia: the demand for democratization, Arab Spring. This revolutionary movement gave rise to some Tunisian youth burning themselves to death as a method of activism, which instantly spread to the Arab region. Many dictatorial regimes such as the Tunisian Ben Ali regime, the Libyan Gaddafi regime and the Egyptian Mubarak regime, were brought down; and the revolutionary wave reached Syria.
In Syria 2011, anti-government organisations demanding democracy, and the dictatorial Assad regime were in conflict, the current death toll exceeding 200 thousand people.


Conflicts Worsen As America Withdraw Military Intervention, And Islamic State Rises

One reason for the civil conflict intensifying is America’s withdrawal of military intervention from Syria.

In 2013, despite the evidence of President Assad’s Syrian Army massacring the civilians with chemical weapons, President Obama announced in a September television broadcast that, “America can no longer afford to be the world’s policemen”. He subsequently withdrew the U.S. military from Syria.

And the tragedy continues.

The Islamic extremist organisation sialmic State arose from the no man’s land created by the seesaw power struggle in the conflict between the Syrian Army and the anti-government army, Seeing the rising power of Islamic State, the U.S. and European countries such as France finally resorted to bombing the area.

As a result, over 4 million Syrians became refugees. Including internally displaced people, half of the total population of Syria has become refugees. The countries around Turkey have reached limits for refugee acceptance, and the refugees even began to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.


The Three-way Battle: Russia, Europe and Islamic State

Russian President Vladimir Putin then began to join the bombing. Having maintained connections with Syria’s Assad regime, however, Russia continued to support them. They diverged from the European countries’ support of the anti-Assad organisations, and are currently being severely criticized from Europe.

Russia supports the Assad regime; Europe supports the anti-Assad movement; and Islamic State gains more power. Thus in Syria, there is a three-way battle that may develop into a large-scale proxy war, and the refugee toll shows no sign of weakening.

There is a need to first suppress the growth of Islamic State, and Russia and Europe must be set on the same page, in order to stabilize Syria.

Analysis: What Is Going On In Syria? Deepening Our Understanding Of The Paris Attacks
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