Syrian civil war

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Syrian Civil War
Part of the Arab Spring, the Arab Winter, and the spillover of the Iraqi conflict
Syrian Civil War map.svg
Military situation in April 2019:
     Syrian Arab Republic      Syrian opposition & Turkish occupation      Rojava      Tahrir al-Sham[24]      ISIL
(Full list of combatants, Detailed map, Live interactive map)
Date15 March 2011 (2011-03-15) – present (10 years, 10 months and 2 days)
Syria (with spillovers in neighboring countries)
Status Ongoing
As of 31 March 2020: the Syrian Armed Forces held 63.57% of Syrian territories; SDF 25.57%; rebel groups (incl. HTS) & Turkey 9.72%; ISIL 1.14%[25]
Main belligerents
InfoboxHez.PNG Hezbollah
 Russia (2015–present)

 Turkey[b] (2016–present)


Salvation Government (Tahrir al-Sham)[d][e]

Flag of Rojava.svg Rojava (SDF) (2012–present)

Commanders and leaders
Killed in action:

Killed in action:

Killed in action:
Killed in action:

Killed in action:
Units involved
See order See order See order See order

Syrian Armed Forces: 180,000[67]
General Security Directorate: 8,000[68]
National Defense Force: 80,000[69]
Ba'ath Brigades: 7,000 Hezbollah: 6,000–8,000[70]
Liwa Al-Quds: 4,000–8,000
Russia: 4,000 troops[71] & 1,000 contractors[72]
Iran: 3,000–5,000[70][73]

Other allied groups: 20,000+

Free Syrian Army: 20,000–32,000[74] (2013)
Islamic Front: 40,000–70,000[75][76] (2014)
Other groups: 12,500[77] (2015)
Turkish Armed Forces: 4,000–8,000[78][79]

Ahrar al-Sham: 18,000–20,000+[80][81] (March 2017)

Tahrir al-Sham: 31,000[82]
15,000–20,000 (per U.S., late 2016)[83]

SDF: 60,000–75,000 (2017 est.)[84]

  • YPG & YPJ: 20,000–30,000 (2017 est.)[85]
  • Syriac Military Council (MFS): 1,000 (2017 est.)[86]
  • Al-Sanadid Forces: 2,000–4,000 (2017 est.)[86]
  • SDF Military Councils: 10,000+[87][88][89]
Casualties and losses

Syrian Arab Republic:
65,187–100,187 soldiers killed[90][91]
50,484–64,484 militiamen killed[90][91]
4,700 soldiers/militiamen & 2,000 supporters captured[90]
InfoboxHez.PNG Hezbollah:
1,677–2,000 killed[90][92]
Russia Russia:
116 soldiers[93] & 186–280 PMCs killed[94]

Other non-Syrian fighters:
8,109 killed[90] (2,300–3,500+ IRGC-led)[95][96]

Syrian opposition 132,824–173,824 killed[f][90][91]

Turkey Turkey:
182 killed (2016–19 incursions)[97][98][99]
28,532+ killed (per SOHR)[100]
20,711+ killed (per YPG & SAA)[101][102]

Flag of Syrian Democratic Forces.svg SDF:
11,600–12,586+ killed[103][104]

11 killed[105]

112,623[90]–117,377[106] civilian deaths documented by opposition
100 other foreign soldiers killed (Lebanon 60, Turkey 17 (pre-'16), Iraq 16, Jordan 7)

Total killed: 371,222–570,000 (per SOHR)[90]

Estimated ≥7,600,000 internally displaced & ≥5,116,097 refugees (July 2015/2017)[107]

a Since early 2013, the FSA has been decentralized with its name being arbitrarily used by various rebels.
b Turkey provided arms support to rebels since 2011 & since Aug. 2016 fought alongside the TFSA in the Aleppo governorate vs. the SDF, ISIL & Syrian gov.
c Sep.–Nov. 2016: U.S. fought with the TFSA in Aleppo governorate solely against ISIL.[108][109] In 2017–18, the U.S. purposely attacked the Syrian gov. 10 times, while in Sep. 2016 it accidentally hit a Syrian base, killing ≥100 SAA soldiers. Syria maintains this was intentional.[110]
d Predecessors of HTS (al-Nusra Front) & ISIL (ISI) were allied al-Qaeda branches until April 2013. Al-Nusra Front rejected an ISI-proposed merger into ISIL & al-Qaeda cut all affiliation with ISIL in Feb. 2014.
e Ahrir al-Sham's predecessor, Syrian Liberation Front, and Tahrir al-Sham's predecessor, al-Nusra Front, were allied under the Army of Conquest from March 2015 to January 2017.
f Number includes Kurdish & ISIL fighters, whose deaths are also listed in their separate columns.[111][90]

g Iraq's involvement in Syria is limited to airstrikes against ISIL & are coordinated with the Syrian gov.[1]

The Syrian civil war, also known as the Syrian uprising (Arabic: الثورة السورية‎),[112] or Syrian crisis (Arabic: الأزمة السورية‎),[113] is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria. The Ba'ath government is fighting against people who want to remove this government. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with demonstrations. These demonstrations were like demonstrations held in other Arab countries, which has been called the Arab Spring. Protesters in Syria demanded that President Bashar al-Assad resign. His family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971. Many of Assad's supporters are Shia while most of the opposition is Sunni.

In April 2011, the Syrian Army fired on demonstrators across the country.[114] After months of military battles,[115] the protests turned into an armed rebellion. Opposition forces were soldiers who had left the Syrian army and civilian volunteers. Opposition fighters had no central leadership.[116] Battles took place in many towns and cities across the country.[117] In late 2011 the Islamist group al-Nusra Front began to have a bigger role in the forces. In 2013 Hezbollah entered the war in support of the Syrian army.[118][119]

The Syrian government received military support from Russia and Iran. Qatar and Saudi Arabia gave weapons to the rebels.[120] By July 2013, the Syrian government controlled approximately 30–40 percent of the country's territory and 60 percent of the Syrian population.[121] A 2012 UN report said the battles were between different sects or groups.[122] The battles were between Shia groups against Sunni rebel groups,.[123][124][125]

According to the United Nations, over 100,000 people were killed by June 2013. A total of 120,000 were killed by September 2013.[126] In addition, tens of thousands of protesters were put in jail. There were reports that the Syrian government was torturing prisoners.[127] International organizations accused both government and opposition forces of breaching human rights.[128] The UN said most of the abuses were carried out by the Syrian government.[129][130][131][132][133] More than 4 million Syrians were forced to relocate because of the battles and more than 2 million refugees left their country. Millions of citizens are still short of electricity, food and drinking water.[134]

In 2013 the Syrian regime used Chemical weapons against the rebels. This drew attention from the international community.[135] The government reportedly surrendered their chemical weapons in 2014 but continued the war using other weapons. Later in 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant became the most powerful opposing army, controlling more territory than the Syrian government itself. By 2019 government forces had take back most of this territory.

With all of this going on in Syria, 5.6 million Syrians were forced to flee to other countries.[136]

Both Turkey and Iran are also claimed to have recruited Pakistani mercenaries to fight for opposing sides, which could have also resulted them in fighting each other.[137][138][139]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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  135. Obama: US cannot ignore Syria chemical weapons
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