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faiza khan

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Syria.

Syrian Conflict.
Demographics in Syria
Alawis or Alawites
Sunni Muslims - 74%
Christians - 8%
Druze - 2%
Other - 4%
Sub-culture of Shiite Muslims residing primarily in Syria.
Their beliefs differ from other Muslims, as they celebrating Christmas, believe in reincarnation,and allow of alcohol.
Most Alawis stand behind the Assad Regime, Assad being an Alawite himself.
The second largest sect of Islam, and make up most of the population of Syria.
Majority of the opposition is comprised of Sunni Muslims, and many make up the Free Syrians Army.
There are conflicts between Alawites and Sunni's because of the religious differences and how much more the Alawites favoured for over 40 years.
Against the teachings of Alawism.
Have given soft support for the Regime out of the fear the Rebels will establish an Islamist state if the Regime falls.
Christian pacifists believe that violence is incompatible with their faith.
Most Christians support the prevention of war through nonviolent direct action and cooperative conflict resolution.
An offshoot of Islam who share similar views with the Christians.
They want nothing more than to drive conflict from all parties out of Syria, and many are moving out to surrounding countries to escape the destruction occurring in Syria.
Other ethnic groups like the Kurd Sunni choose to mainly remain on the sidelines.
These groups, which make up small parts of the country's population, stay on the neutral side of the conflict or join along with either the Regime or the Rebels.
In this group, we can also find the Shabiha, or groups of armed militia in support of the Ba'ath Party government of Syria, led by the Al-Assad family. Mostly, they are responsible for civilian and protester killings.
Iran has mainly a religious
connection to Syria, as both
countries have a majority Shiite
population, and Syria is one
of the few Shiite governments
in the Middle East.
Has an economic connection to China- they share a very large trade relation, with China being Syria's third largest importer.
China is very involved in Syria's oil industry, and has also been known to side alongside Syria in military partnerships.
Has said foreign countries shouldn't meddle in Syria's internal affairs, though it's firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapon.
It also said it wants a political solution for Syria
China has veto power on the UN security council, which it has used to vote against 3 UN resolutions to put pressure on the Syrian Regime, and many believe that China's involvement isn't only to seek a political solution for the Syrian conflict.
& Peace

Arab Spring and Syrian Warfare.
Political Leaders
Syrian politician and general, President of Syria who transformed Syria into a regional power from 1971 to 2000.
Assad instituted one-man rule, or a Dictatorship. Anyone who questioned his motives was dismissed from the Ba'ath party.
Later, he established an equal form to rule. He brought stability to Syria, and improved relations with Western powers.
Assad de-radicalized the Ba'ath* regime when he took power
Assad also increased Alawite dominance of the security and intelligence sectors.
Current president of Syria since 2000, son and successor of Hafez. Became 'heir apparent' after his brother, the next in line to becoming the leader of the Ba'ath party, died.
Syrians were under the impression that he was a stable dictator in a very fragile region.
Assad began to swiftly punish peaceful pro-democracy protestors in April 2011, resulting in more protests, more violence, etc.
As the Ba'ath party is a socialist party*, Assad also began to grant more and more privileges towards Alawites.
This has lead to causing sectarian (religious) tension between a powerful minority and a disenfranchised majority.
*Socialist government: everything is government owned. no private property no self owned businesses, ec.
Has a strong and stable relationship with Syria, started by Hafez Al-Assad in 1971 in the Cold War
Warm water ports of Tartus, Syria was promised to Russia's naval supply and maintenance base.
3/4 Syria's debt to Russia of $13.4 billion dollar has been reduced.
Russia has supplied Syria with weapons that will further improve its combat capabilities.
Russia claims that by giving weapons to Syria, it isn't increasing the amount of power in the Middle East.
Russian also has a large presence within the Syrian infrastructure, energy and tourism industries.

Arab Spring: A series of demonstrations, protests, civil wars, and riots which occurred in the Middle East which began in December 2010.
Political power has reduced in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, civil wars have broke out in Bahrain and Syria
Syrian uprisings began in 2011, when Syrian security forces arrested 15 children for writing slogans against the government.
Protests began arising over the arrest and abuse of the children.
Social media sites, particularily Twitter and Facebook, were used to assemble protests and raise awareness for the ongoing issue.
More protests led to harsher punishments handed out by the government.
In July, Syrian army tanks stormed several cities, killing 136 people, the highest death toll so far.
A rebel group called the Free Syrian Army formed.
On 4 February, the Syrian Army killied 500 civilians in one night in Homs.
On 12 June 2012, the UN peacekeeping chief in Syria stated that Syria has entered a period of civil war.
On 24 July 2013, the United Nations put out an estimate of over 100,000 that had died in the war, and since January 7th 2014, the U.N.'s human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria's civil war.
They was under their military occupation from 1920 to 1946
Trading partner with them.
Ties were remained strong, but Syria immediately became involved in war against Israel.
Use of Chemical weapons has deteriorated their relationship.
France also has teamed up with the United States and the UK to stop Syria from going any further with their attacks.
They say they must evolve with the times and are “ready to punish” those who were involved.
Syria seems to be unfazed by the threat and still carries out the attack with no reasonable explanation.
Future for Syria?
Future is unclear as they even have conflicts to be resolved with their allies, Russia, and China.
They even sent more military supplies to them, including armored vehicles and bombs.
China, feel like they shouldn't try to stop Assad.
Retrieving chemical weapons from the middle of a civil war is very difficult.
Because of the large variety of rebel groups within Syria wanting different things, removing Assad could lead to Rebel groups fighting each other for power.
Since the Syrian uprising, the UN has confirmed that Syria has been using Sarin gas to attack Damascus suburbs. The use of chemical weapons is banned in any conflict, and three Western-backed resolutions have been brought up in the UN security council pressuring Assad's Regime to end the violence in Syria. However, Russia and China, both on the UN's Security Council, have veto-ed against intervening, and as only one vote is needed to reject an idea, each time it has been out down. Both countries have alliances with Syria, which they would choose to uphold with Assad than give up. Diplomats believe that Russia and China hold onto their alliance with Syria as a buffer against American influence in the region. Because the UN has no force to directly involve itself in Syrian affairs, it relies on the united decision of the Council to assist in the Syrian situation.
Civil War caused $15 bilion in damage.
Head of UN team drawing up postwar reconstruction plan estimates overall damage to Syrian economy stands at $60-$80 billion.
More than 130,000 people have been killed at least 500,000 are hurt, millions uprooted.
Over a million children under five suffer from malnutrition
The situation has been compared to living in hell by many residents.
“They have wiped half the city off the map,” said an activist.

Damage by the War.
*The Ba'ath Party, or Arab Socialist Party, is the current party in office in Syria, interested in Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control.
1. What do the Syrian people want, specifically the oppressed, and what does the Assad Regime want?

2. Why does Russia and China continue to uphold their relationship with Syria?

3. What about removing Assad? What could possibly come out of that?
4. Why hasn't the UN done anything, and what could possibly be done to lessen the violence?

5. What would removing Assad from office potentially lead to?

6. Do you think the protestors had a valid claim? What about Assad's Regime?
Full transcript