The Syrian war started as an Arab Spring extension with just two political groups, the Syrian government led by Bashar Al-Assad, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Other rebel groups were formed like the Islamic state of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) with the aim of forming an Islamic nation. These rebel groups received funding from countries that wanted to play politics with the Syrian situation. The Syrian Revolution then spiraled into a Syrian conflict due to the involvement of many political actors coming in the name of bringing peace but instead have geopolitical interest.
The Russian and Iran government as political actors have been helping the Syrian government with monetary aid and arms to enable it to fight the rebel groups. Moreover, Hezbollah, a Lebanon Shiite group, has even entered Syria to fight along with the government (Mobina, 2015). But, they all have their own interests. Russia wants it to challenge the US dominance power in the world affairs and in the Middle East. It will enable Russia maintain the Mediterranean Sea access point its naval base in Tartus, a port city in Syria. On the other hand, Iran is interested in keeping the flow of arms to Hezbollah constant. Hezbollah wants to keep the support of Assad to prevent another attack on South Lebanon by Israel.
Actors like the United States, Israel and their allies the Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported the rebels groups in Syria by providing them with finances and arms (Mobina, 2015). However, their interests on the toppling of the Assad-led government is on their own pure interest and not for democracy of the Syrian. They want to put on a western puppet which would preserve Israel security and also reduce the influence of the Middle East by Russia.
The Syrian conflict first started due to the repressive policies of Bashar al-Assad's against his own people. It was a civil war between the Syrian government and its people. They opened fire on protestors who were against a move by the government of arresting and torturing some teenagers from Daras city (BBC, 2016). These teenagers had participated in the anti-government graffiti. A nationwide series of protest emerged seeking freedom and democracy from the Assad family rule. Secondly, a religious war emerged between the Alawite sect who were the Minority and supported by Assad and the Sunni majority religious sect who termed the minority group as infidels. Finally, there was a proximal reason as the foreign countries used the conflict to better their interests. The Syrian war was also part of an uprising that had started in Tunisia in 2010 and was sweeping across North Africa extending to the Middle East in the spring of 2011 (David et al., 2013). These revolutions were based on the massive demand for political freedom, human dignity, and social justice among others. There were protests all over these countries which were unstoppable. In Syria, a revolution was inspired by the dictatorial regime of Bashar Al-Assad who used forced and killed people to maintain and prevent an uprising against him.
As a result of the ongoing war in Syria, many people were displaced, left venerable and desperate. They started fleeing in large numbers during the years and going to neighboring countries as refugees. However, many have been going on desperate journeys to Europe in large numbers. The reason is because Europe has more liberal policies on migration and there are social benefits. This has created a crisis that has come to be known as the Europe migration crisis. Additionally, Religious ideologies and extremism are the greatest contributors to the escalating conflict in Syria. Muslims who want to align politics with religion are against those who want to keep them apart. Ideologies spread by a Jihadist group, ISIS of creating an Islamic nation that is free of infidels is perverted and was one of the major causes of conflict and war against the other religious communities like the Alawites. Ethnic tensions and cultural differences are also evident between the Sunni Arabs who are the majority in coalition with the Kurds and the others minority groups such as the alawins and other small groups (Ajami et al., 2013). Most of Assads people are alawins thus fighting against the Sunni.
Finally, Signs are showing a changing battlefield with extremist ISIS and the other Islamist groups. Each group is establishing the momentum of its own. The Bashar al-Assad forces, on several fronts, are under mounting pressure. However, several countries are united in fighting the extremist group ISIS which they all agree will increase terrorism but the democracy and the freedom of the Syrian people are yet to be decided on since different countries are supporting different groups with their interest in mind. Additionally, a release by BBC News (2016) states that there is hope for the end of the conflict if the US and Russia peace talks which include a cease-fire succeed which will cause the transitional period that will end with elections.
In conclusion, many of the international actors in the conflict have differences, and their current relations are not very good. More involvement will put any agreement at risk and will not contribute to a faster solution to the problem affecting Syria thus casting a shadow over any agreement.
Ajami, F., & Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. (2012). The Syrian rebellion. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University. Read more
Haas, M. L., & Lesch, D. W. (2013). The Arab Spring: Resistance and Change in the Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Read more
Senator Mobina Jaffer - Understanding the Conflict in Syria. (n.d). Retrieved from http://mobinajaffer.ca/understanding-the-syrian-conflict
The story of the Syrian conflict - BBC News. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26116868
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The Geopolitical Theme on the Syrian War. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/the-geopolitical-theme-on-the-syrian-war
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