By: Elijah Price

After about five years of armed conflict Syria, more than 250,000 people have lost their lives. Originally all that was going on was anti­-government protests, but throughout the years it began to escalate. More than eleven million people have been forced out of their homes by those loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.

In March of 2011, pro democracy protests erupted in Syria due to the arrest and torturing of teenagers. The teenagers were arrested because of paintings that they did of revolutionary slogans on a school wall, which resulted in protests. Security forces then opened fire on protesters killing several people which resulted in more unrest. By July of 2011, there were hundreds of thousands protesting across the country. As the civil war escalated, rebel brigades were created to fight against government forces for control over cities. Later on, some sectarian overtones occurred which tossed the country’s Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect, drawing other countries and world powers into the war. Because of this, the war in Syria is not only a civil war, but is also partly a religious war.

Since the start of the civil war, millions of people have fled Syria, most of which have been women and children. It has been the largest refugee exodus in recent history. Since the beginning of this war, the armed rebellion has advanced and secular moderates have now been outnumbered by Jihadists and Islamists. These rebel groups have caused worry because of their brutal tactics. The Islamic State, which is an extremist group that dirived from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has taken big pieces of territory across northern and eastern Syria. North Student Jacob Williams said, “The U.S. should stay involved because of Russia’s involvement.” The U.S. has attempted to eliminate IS; for example, in September of 2014 a U.S. led coalition launched airstrikes in Syria hoping to help the Kurds repel a major assault on the northern town of Kobane.

There have been many attempts to resolve this matter peacefully, but as the war has become more dangerous with the use of chemical weapons and becoming a proxy war (a war instigated by a major power that does not itself become involved), it has become harder and harder to end it.