WHAT IS THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS?
Nearly 2.5 million Syrians are now refugees, and until off recently, almost all the people across the world turned a blind eye to this ever growing refugee crisis. Some scholars have even termed it as one of the largest “humanitarian crisis” in the history of the world. Most have fled since Syria’s Arab spring uprising disintegrated into a brutal civil war, leaving tens of millions homeless. This crisis ever since it began has been nowhere seen to get better, it only takes the worst turn. Off recently in the year 2017, Syria’s use of chemical weapons provoked the then President of the United States, Donald Trump to directly attack the President of Syria.
How it all started?
To understand Syria’s current situation, one would have to go back to the beginning of 2011, when the first shots of this very war were fired. In the month of March, 2011 Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fired shots against a crowd of peaceful Arab Spring demonstrators. The situation only deteriorated as after a few months, in July, the protestors retaliated and some Syrian troops even defected from the Syrian army to join them.
Who all are a part of this crisis?
It is alleged that extremists from around the region and the world have travelled to Syria to join the rebel forces. There have been reports of releasing jihadist prisoners to aggravate the rebellion to whole a new level of extremism. This civil war didn’t remain confined to its own country, as political leaders from the other nations also started intervening in this war. In 2012, al-Qaeda, allegedly an extremists group, formed a new branch in Syria, under the name of Jabhat-al-Nusra. At the same time, Syrian Kurdish groups wanted autonomy from their leader Assad and thus finally seceded from his rule. Hence, started Syria’s unfateful proxy war and the doom of millions of innocents.
The political game was heavily seen around this time as Iran, considered to be Assad’s most important and oldest ally, intervened on his behalf and sent hundreds of officers as well. Surprisingly, at around the same time, the oil rich Arab states began sending money extensive weapons to the rebels, and their motive behind the same, ‘to counter Iran’s influence’.
What was seen next was Iran stepping up its own influence, and Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia backed by Iran invaded to fight along the Syrian leader, Assad. By the next year, the Middle East was divided by a religious divide amongst the Muslims, the Shia sect and the Sunni sect. The former sect mostly supported Assad while the latter supported the rebels in Syria. The leader Assad, was strongly criticised around the globe for the use of chemical gas and weapons. Thousands of women and children were rendered dead because of the same, and sensing the worst case scenario, the US government headed by the then President Barack Obama threatened a military attack to stop Assad and his atrocities.
But it didn’t happen, and the major political leaders around the world instead of uniting against the common enemy, divided and stood against each other with the Russian government backing Syrian leader Assad while the US was opposing him. In February 2014, something happened that completely transformed the war when an internal disagreement led to a certain sect to break away. The group, now infamously called ISIS, that is the Islamic State of Syria, broke away and formed an independent extremist group. In the same year, it seized almost all the part of Iraq and set up a terrorist regime in the nation.
What is the current situation?
Several countries namely Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are trying to accommodate the Syrian refugees, displaced from their own homeland. But as underdeveloped nations, the refugee crisis cis continuously putting pressure on their economies, natural resources, infrastructure etc. Refugees have also gone to Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Egypt as well, as they are being forcefully displaced out of their country, they can either run away with any but little belongings or stay and face death. The problem is over growing today, with no proper aid being provided to these people.
Hospitals are not able to respond properly to the needs of these people as the number is overwhelming. Many times, the locals aren’t always very sympathetic towards these refugees. The reason for the same being, they view them as potential threat to their jobs, employment opportunities and local resources.
Lebanon is the world’s largest host country for the Syrian refugees with over almost 1.2 million registered refugees. The European Union and other nations have responded with billions of dollars for assistance, and along with this, several private aid groups have also tried to financially aid the crisis. The citizens of Syria who’ve been displaced still hope to one day return to their homeland, when there is peace and the war against humanity has stopped. Until then, everyone has a moral obligation and responsibility to provide any assistance to these refugees, to help them in these dire times and stand up for humanity and recognise the human race as one.