Greek and Roman Art Essay

Submitted By holtct
Words: 1365
Pages: 6

Syria throughout the years has generally remained a “neutral” country within the Middle East. But due to growing frustrations with the Syrian government, people began to peacefully protest in mid-2011. Protests started turning violent within months, and violence turned into a full-fledged war shortly after that. I am going to take a look into the events and policies leading up to the conflict, what turned the protests violent, what is happening now in 2013, and what both sides are doing to stop the violence if anything. I also want to explore into outside influences into the conflict and how they are swaying the odds in whose favor, and what if anything is the United States stand on the conflict. I believe the U.S holds special interests with Syria that may not be known to the public, if that’s so I want to know what it is and how it will benefit us. I first started to research the factors and policies that led up to the protests in 2011. I found out that the current president of Syria (Bashar Al-Assad)’s father held the power from 1971 all the way until his death in 2000. This first gave me a clue into what some of the tension was about. People are tired of the same policies from the same family for over 40 years. I then researched into his personal views and it turned out he was very oppressing to the minority Kurdish and in the mid 1980’s Hafez (Assad’s father) burned down many of the resources and supply chains in the town of Hama to stop an uprising from the Sunni majority in that town. This led me to discover that relations between the groups have been tattered for some time. Tensions then flared again once Hafez Al-Assad was near death. People were upset about who his successor was going to be, many Sunni’s supported his younger brother Rifaat Al-Assad. And tensions came to a screeching halt after the 1998 Syrian Parliamentary election, which resulted in the re-election majority win for Hafez Al-Assad’s, Ba’ath party (Election Guide). Hafez quickly went after his younger brother and his supporters, arresting many and ordering the demolition of his compounds, when police went to enforce the orders they were met with gun fire and small skirmishes, they then returned and officially two people were killed, but many there say there were at least 100 dead or wounded. After the death of Hafez, his son Bashar succeeded him as president, at first many people were hopeful as to what the new president could do for the country. Assad speaks fluent English and his wife was a British born Muslim. Many hoped he would bring a democracy of sorts to Syria, putting an end to the 30 year rule of the near totalitarian government under Hafez. During this time, known as the “Damascus Spring” many democratic groups were forming all across the country, meeting in secret designated areas. Assad saw this as a threat as started arresting and prosecuting many of the groups. This continued until tensions reach their height during the Arab spring in late 2010.

Protests emerged in other Arab nations like Libya, this prompted the people of Syria to protest as well, also spilling into other nations in the surrounding area. The protests stayed fairly calm until the uprising in mid-2011. Syria was long referred to as the “kingdom of silence” (Al-Jazeera) because of tight security forces and a somewhat popular president. But this all changed once the protest turned violent. It all happened on the 18th of March, 2011. It all started with an angry mob burning down the headquarters to the Ba’ath party in Damascus. Police retaliated by shooting live ammunition into large crowds to try to quell the mutiny. All in all some 20 something protesters were killed. This is when the protests turned into a full on uprising. Meanwhile, in an attempt to quell the uprising, Syrian government announced changes to the policies and regulations in order to please the rebels. Many of the provisions were never enacted and the rebellion continued. Later in