The Syrian civil war has entered its eighth year with more than 465,000 Syrians killed in the fighting and half of the country’s pre-war population displaced from their homes.
On March 15, 2011, peaceful protests erupted in Syria following successful Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled authoritarian presidents.
The peaceful protests descended into a civil war after the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad killed hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoned and tortured many more.
Seven years and many rounds of peace talks later, the violence rages across Syria, which has become a geostrategic battleground.
The situation today
Fighting in Syria continues on two main fronts:
Eastern Ghouta: In February 2018, Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplanes escalated bombing of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb east of the capital, Damascus, resulting in hundreds of civilians deaths. Eastern Ghouta has been under siege since 2013 and is the last remaining rebel stronghold.
Afrin: Turkey and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) began in January 2018 a military operation against the YPG in northwestern Syria, near Afrin. Pro-government forces have also joined the fight. On February 24, the UN passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire across Syria, but exempted military operations against “terrorist” groups.
(Courtesy Al Jazeera)