Due to its strategic location and foreign policy, Syria occupies a key position in the Middle East. The internal Syrian war, which has been raging since 2011, is being fueled by external actors who, with their particular interests in mind, are waging a proxy war on Syrian territory.
Country overview & natural area
With 185,180 square kilometers, Syria is about half the size of Germany. It lies between Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon and has a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea of 193 km in length.
History & State
According to topb2bwebsites, Syria is one of the core states of the Arab world. There are no ways out of the destructive civil war that has been raging since 2011, and diplomatic initiatives are making difficult progress. According to UNOCHA, around 13 million people in Syria need humanitarian aid. Syria has become the paradigm of Arab misery.
Official name: Syrian Arab Republic
Area: 185 180 km²
Residents: approx. 19.4 million (2018, estimated)
Growth of population: approx. -1.6% (2017, estimated)
Seat of government: Damascus
Official language: Arabic
Regional languages: Kurdish, Armenian, Circassian, Aramaic
There has been a civil war in Syria since 2011, which began with peaceful demonstrations for political and social reform. Triggered by protests against the government under President Bashar al-Assad, a civil war increasingly turned into a geopolitical conflict in which more and more parties were drawn. The situation is getting worse every day, large parts of the country are devastated. Western states, Turkey and the Arab Gulf states stood on the side of the rebels for a long time; Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are on the side of the regime. With the support of Russia and Iran, al-Assad has now regained control of large areas of Syria.
Some districts in the provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo as well as large parts of Idlib are controlled by Islamist terrorist organizations. A few weeks ago the Syrian Army, with the support of the Russian Air Force, launched an offensive on the last bastions of the rebels in northern Syria, where a ceasefire had been in place since September 2018. Since then, more than 200,000 people have fled to the Syrian-Turkish border area. The UN warns of another humanitarian catastrophe in the north-west inhabited by three million civilians.
With the fall of the village of Baghuz in the east of the country, the last areas occupied by the terrorist organization Islamic State were recaptured by the SDF militia, which was dominated by the Syrian Kurds. After the killing of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019, the US president announced the final victory against the IS terrorist group, but thousands of his IS fighters have gone into hiding.
On October 9, 2019, Turkey launched the “Operation Peace Source ” military offensive in northern Syria with the aim of establishing a buffer zone in the northern provinces of Syria. After massive air and artillery attacks, ground troops invaded Syria. Obviously the Turkish state wants to settle one to two million Syrian refugees from Turkey there. At the same time, the mission is to smash the Kurdish militia YPG, because Turkey regards it as a terrorist organization. The Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) received massive military support from the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
The Turkish offensive was preceded by a withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. This paved the way for the Americans to launch a Turkish military offensive against the Syrian Kurdish fighters. Especially since US President Trump declared: “The Kurds are not angels.
Two weeks after the start of the Turkish military offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria, the Russians took advantage of the US withdrawal and signed an agreement with Turkey, according to which the YPG will withdraw 30 kilometers from the Turkish border. Turkish-Russian patrols should now control the corresponding areas.
After seven so-called de-escalation zones had been conquered very quickly by the Syrian regime without major US resistance due to the Turkish-Russian agreement, the advance on the borders of the Syrian province of Idlib stalled. In the meantime, acts of war are mainly limited to Idlib in northwest Syria. Since November 2019, the now fourth UN special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, has been trying to bring together at least one Syrian-Syrian constitutional committee.
In July 2020 Russia and China prevented the UN Security Council impose its veto a resolution that UN relief supplies to Syria on a number of border crossings should allow. In this context, Russia has succeeded in ensuring that aid to Syria is handled exclusively via the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. Since then, Russia has dominated events in Syria and determined the level of escalation. In addition, Syria has developed into the arena of a regional struggle between Israel and Iran. According to Israel, for example, it has already carried out hundreds of air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.