Syrian Civil War
|Syrian Civil War|
|Part of the Arab Spring, the Arab Winter and the spillover of the Iraq conflict|
Military situation in January 2019:
Syrian Arab Republic Syrian opposition and Turkish occupation North Syria Federation
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Tahrir al-Sham
(For a full list of combatants see order of battle)
(For a more detailed version of this map, see Detailed map. For live interactive map, see Syrian Civil War Map.
Russia (from 2015)
|Commanders and leaders|
|See order||See order||See order||See order|
Syrian Armed Forces: 180,000
Tahrir al-Sham: 31,000
|15,000–20,000 (U.S. claim, late 2016) 1,000 (U.S. claim, late 2017)||
SDF: 60,000–75,000 (2017 estimate)
|Casualties and losses|
Syrian Arab Republic:
8,049 killed ( 561 Iranians)
157 soldiers killed (2016–18 ground incursions)
26,022+ killed (per SOHR)|
20,711+ killed (per YPG and SAA)
refugees (July 2017 registered by UNHCR)
a Since early 2013, the FSA has been decentralized with their name being arbitrarily used by various rebels.
The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية, al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah as-sūrīyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations.
The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Syrian government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for Assad's removal were violently suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: The Syrian government and Syrian Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of majorly Sunni opposition rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction (Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, as well as others).
Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah support the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Armed Forces militarily, with Russia conducting military operations since September 2015. The U.S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes primarily against ISIL as well as some against government and pro-government targets. Since 2015, the US has also supported the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and its armed wing, the SDF. Turkey, on the other hand, has become deeply involved against the Syrian government since 2016, actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria. Between 2011 and 2017, fighting from the Syrian Civil War spilled over into Lebanon as opponents and supporters of the Syrian Arab Republic travelled to Lebanon to fight and attack each other on Lebanese soil. Furthermore, while officially neutral, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, whose presence in southwestern Syria it views as a threat.
International organizations have accused virtually all sides involved, including the Ba'athist Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups, and the U.S.-led coalition of severe human rights violations and of massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.
|Part of a series on|
- 1 Background
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Advanced weaponry and tactics
- 4 Belligerents and foreign involvement
- 5 Media coverage
- 6 International reactions
- 7 Impact
- 8 Peace efforts
- 9 Reconstruction
- 10 Depictions
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
The secular Ba'ath Syrian Regional Branch government came to power through a successful coup d'état in 1963. For several years Syria went through additional coups and changes in leadership, until in March 1971, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, declared himself President. The secular Syrian Regional Branch remained the dominant political authority in what had been a one-party state until the first multi-party election to the People's Council of Syria was held in 2012. On 31 January 1973, Hafez al-Assad implemented a new constitution, which led to a national crisis. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama, Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama. The government survived a series of armed revolts by Islamists, mainly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, from 1976 until 1982.
Upon Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad was elected as President of Syria. Bashar and his wife Asma, a Sunni Muslim born and educated in Britain, initially inspired hopes for democratic reforms; however, according to his critics, Bashar failed to deliver on promised reforms. President Al-Assad maintained in 2017 that no 'moderate opposition' to his rule exists, and that all opposition forces are jihadists intent on destroying his secular leadership; his view was that terrorist groups operating in Syria are 'linked to the agendas of foreign countries'.
The total population in July 2018 was estimated at 19,454,263 people; ethnic groups - approximately Arab 50%, Alawite 15%, Kurd 10%, Levantine 10%, other 15% (includes Druze, Ismaili, Imami, Nusairi, Assyrian, Turkmen, Armenian); religions - Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10% (mainly of Eastern Christian churches - may be smaller as a result of Christians fleeing the country), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo).
Socioeconomic inequality increased significantly after free market policies were initiated by Hafez al-Assad in his later years, and it accelerated after Bashar al-Assad came to power. With an emphasis on the service sector, these policies benefited a minority of the nation's population, mostly people who had connections with the government, and members of the Sunni merchant class of Damascus and Aleppo. In 2010, Syria's nominal GDP per capita was only $2,834, comparable to Sub-Saharan African countries such as Nigeria and far lower than its neighbors such as Lebanon, with an annual growth rate of 3.39%, below most other developing countries.
The country also faced particularly high youth unemployment rates. At the start of the war, discontent against the government was strongest in Syria's poor areas, predominantly among conservative Sunnis. These included cities with high poverty rates, such as Daraa and Homs, and the poorer districts of large cities.
This coincided with the most intense drought ever recorded in Syria, which lasted from 2006 to 2011 and resulted in widespread crop failure, an increase in food prices and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers. This migration strained infrastructure already burdened by the influx of some 1.5 million refugees from the Iraq War. The drought has been linked to anthropogenic global warming. Adequate water supply continues to be an issue in the ongoing civil war and it is frequently the target of military action.
The human rights situation in Syria has long been the subject of harsh critique from global organizations. The rights of free expression, association and assembly were strictly controlled in Syria even before the uprising. The country was under emergency rule from 1963 until 2011 and public gatherings of more than five people were banned. Security forces had sweeping powers of arrest and detention. Despite hopes for democratic change with the 2000 Damascus Spring, Bashar al-Assad was widely regarded as having failed to implement any improvements. A Human Rights Watch report issued just before the beginning of the 2011 uprising stated that he had failed to substantially improve the state of human rights since taking power.
Protests, civil uprising, and defections (March–July 2011)
Initial armed insurgency (July 2011–April 2012)
Kofi Annan ceasefire attempt (April–May 2012)
Third phase of the war starts: escalation (2012-2013))
Rise of the Islamist groups (January–September 2014)
US intervention (September 2014–September 2015)
Russian intervention (September 2015–March 2016), including first partial ceasefire
Aleppo recaptured; Russian/Iranian/Turkish-backed ceasefire (December 2016 – April 2017)
Syrian-American conflict; de-escalation Zones (April 2017–June 2017)
ISIL siege of Deir ez-Zor broken; CIA program halted; Russian forces permanent (July 2017–Dec. 2017)
Army advance in Hama province and Ghouta; Turkish intervention in Afrin (January–March 2018)
Douma chemical attack; U.S.-led missile strikes; Southern Syria offensive (April 2018–August 2018)
Idlib demilitarisation; Trump announces US withdrawal; Iraq strikes ISIL targets (September–December 2018)
ISIL attacks continue; US states conditions of withdrawal (January 2019–present)
Advanced weaponry and tactics
Sarin, mustard agent and chlorine gas have been used during the conflict. Numerous casualties led to an international reaction, especially the 2013 Ghouta attacks. A UN fact-finding mission was requested to investigate alleged chemical weapons attacks. In four cases the UN inspectors confirmed use of sarin gas. In August 2016, a confidential report by the United Nations and the OPCW explicitly blamed the Syrian military of Bashar al-Assad for dropping chemical weapons (chlorine bombs) on the towns of Talmenes in April 2014 and Sarmin in March 2015 and ISIS for using sulfur mustard on the town of Marea in August 2015.
The United States and the European Union have accused the Syrian government of conducting several chemical attacks. Following the 2013 Ghouta attacks and international pressure, the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons began. In 2015 the UN mission disclosed previously undeclared traces of sarin compounds in a "military research site". After the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack, the United States launched its first attack against Syrian government forces.
Syria is not parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and does not recognize the ban on the use of cluster bombs. The Syrian Army is alleged to have begun using cluster bombs in September 2012. Steve Goose, director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch said "Syria is expanding its relentless use of cluster munitions, a banned weapon, and civilians are paying the price with their lives and limbs", "The initial toll is only the beginning because cluster munitions often leave unexploded bomblets that kill and maim long afterward."
Russian thermobaric weapons, also known as "fuel-air bombs", have been used by the government side during the war. On 2 December 2015, The National Interest reported that Russia was deploying the TOS-1 Buratino multiple rocket launch system to Syria, which is "designed to launch massive thermobaric charges against infantry in confined spaces such as urban areas." One Buratino thermobaric rocket launcher "can obliterate a roughly 200 by 400 metres (660 by 1,310 feet) area with a single salvo". Since 2012, rebels have said that the Syrian Air Force (government forces) is using thermobaric weapons against residential areas occupied by the rebel fighters, such as during the Battle of Aleppo and also in Kafr Batna. A panel of United Nations human rights investigators reported that the Syrian government used thermobaric bombs against the strategic town of Qusayr in March 2013. In August 2013, the BBC reported on the use of napalm-like incendiary bombs on a school in northern Syria.
Several types of anti-tank missiles are in use in Syria. Russia has sent 9M133 Kornet, third-generation anti-tank guided missiles to the Syrian Government whose forces have used them extensively against armour and other ground targets to fight Jihadists and rebels. U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles are one of the primary weapons of rebel groups and have been primarily provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has also supplied many Eastern European sourced 9K111 Fagot launchers and warheads to Syrian rebel groups under its Timber Sycamore program.
In June 2017, Iran attacked ISIL targets in the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria with Zolfaghar ballistic missiles fired from western Iran, in the first use of mid-range missiles by Iran in 30 years. According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the missiles travelled 650–700 kilometres.
Belligerents and foreign involvement
There are numerous factions, both foreign and domestic, involved in the Syrian Civil War, including ISIL, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, pro-government Christian militias, al-Qaeda in Syria, Kurdish YPG militia, or Shia sectarian militias from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom are aligned against each other. Both the Syrian government and the opposition have received support, militarily and diplomatically, from foreign countries leading the conflict to often be described as a proxy war.
The major parties supporting the Syrian Government are Iran, Russia and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran controlled over 70,000 troops deployed in Syria. Syrian rebel groups received political, logistic and military support from the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Britain, France, Israel and the Netherlands. Under the aegis of operation Timber Sycamore and other clandestine activities, CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have trained and armed nearly 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year since 2012.
The Syrian Civil War is one of the most heavily documented wars in history, despite the extreme dangers that journalists face while in Syria.
During the early period of the civil war, The Arab League, European Union, the United Nations, and many Western governments quickly condemned the Syrian government's violent response to the protests, and expressed support for the protesters' right to exercise free speech. Initially, many Middle Eastern governments expressed support for Assad, but as the death toll mounted, they switched to a more balanced approach by criticizing violence from both government and protesters. Both the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria's membership. Russia and China vetoed Western-drafted United Nations Security Council resolutions in 2011 and 2012, which would have threatened the Syrian government with targeted sanctions if it continued military actions against protestors.
The conflict holds the record for the largest sum ever requested by UN agencies for a single humanitarian emergency, $6.5 billon worth of requests of December 2013. The difficulty of delivering humanitarian aid to people is indicated by the statistics for January 2015: of the estimated 212,000 people during that month who were besieged by government or opposition forces, 304 were reached with food.
The international humanitarian response to the conflict in Syria is coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 46/182. The primary framework for this coordination is the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) which appealed for US$1.41 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians affected by the conflict. Official United Nations data on the humanitarian situation and response is available at an official website managed by UNOCHA Syria (Amman). UNICEF is also working alongside these organizations to provide vaccinations and care packages to those in need.
USAID and other government agencies in US delivered nearly $385 million of aid items to Syria in 2012 and 2013. The United States has provided food aid, medical supplies, emergency and basic health care, shelter materials, clean water, hygiene education and supplies, and other relief supplies. Islamic Relief has stocked 30 hospitals and sent hundreds of thousands of medical and food parcels.
Other countries in the region have also contributed various levels of aid. Iran has been exporting between 500 and 800 tonnes of flour daily to Syria. Israel has provided treatment to 750 Syrians in a field hospital located in Golan Heights. Rebels say that 250 of their fighters received medical treatment there. Syrian refugees make up one quarter of Lebanon's population, mostly consisting of women and children. In addition, Russia has said it created six humanitarian aid centers within Syria to support 3000 refugees in 2016.
The World Health Organization has reported that 35% of the country's hospitals are out of service. Fighting makes it impossible to undertake the normal vaccination programs. The displaced refugees may also pose a risk to countries to which they have fled. 400,000 civilians are isolated by the fighting in eastern Ghouta, resulting in acutely malnourished children according to the United Nations Special Advisor, Jan Egeland, who urges the parties for medical evacuations. 55,000 civilians are also isolated in Berm where they have last seen humanitarian relief in the early summer. 494 individuals are awaiting medical evacuations.
Financial information on the response to the SHARP and assistance to refugees and for cross-border operations can be found on UNOCHA's Financial Tracking Service. As of 19 September 2015, the top ten donors to Syria were United States, European Commission, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, UAE, and Norway.
On 2 January 2013, the United Nations stated that 60,000 had been killed since the civil war began, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay saying "The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking." Four months later, the UN's updated figure for the death toll had reached 80,000. On 13 June 2013, the UN released an updated figure of people killed since fighting began, the figure being exactly 92,901, for up to the end of April 2013. Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights, stated that: "This is most likely a minimum casualty figure." The real toll was guessed to be over 100,000. Some areas of the country have been affected disproportionately by the war; by some estimates, as many as a third of all deaths have occurred in the city of Homs.
One problem has been determining the number of "armed combatants" who have died, due to some sources counting rebel fighters who were not government defectors as civilians. At least half of those confirmed killed have been estimated to be combatants from both sides, including 52,290 government fighters and 29,080 rebels, with an additional 50,000 unconfirmed combatant deaths. In addition, UNICEF reported that over 500 children had been killed by early February 2012, and another 400 children have been reportedly arrested and tortured in Syrian prisons; both of these claims have been contested by the Syrian government. Additionally, over 600 detainees and political prisoners are known to have died under torture. In mid-October 2012, the opposition activist group SOHR reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 2,300, and in March 2013, opposition sources stated that over 5,000 children had been killed. In January 2014, a report was released detailing the systematic killing of more than 11,000 detainees of the Syrian government.
On 20 August 2014, a new U.N. study concluded that at least 191,369 people have died in the Syrian conflict. The UN thereafter stopped collecting statistics, but a study by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research released in February 2016 estimated the death toll to be 470,000, with 1.9m wounded (reaching a total of 11.5% of the entire population either wounded or killed).
Formerly rare infectious diseases have spread in rebel-held areas brought on by poor sanitation and deteriorating living conditions. The diseases have primarily affected children. These include measles, typhoid, hepatitis, dysentery, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough and the disfiguring skin disease leishmaniasis. Of particular concern is the contagious and crippling Poliomyelitis. As of late 2013 doctors and international public health agencies have reported more than 90 cases. Critics of the government complain that, even before the uprising, it contributed to the spread of disease by purposefully restricting access to vaccination, sanitation and access to hygienic water in "areas considered politically unsympathetic".
Displacement and refugee migration
The violence in Syria caused millions to flee their homes. As of March 2015, Al-Jazeera estimate 10.9 million Syrians, or almost half the population, have been displaced. 3.8 million have been made refugees. As of 2013[update], 1 in 3 of Syrian refugees (about 667,000 people) sought safety in Lebanon (normally 4.8 million population). Others have fled to Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. Turkey has accepted 1,700,000 (2015) Syrian refugees, half of whom are spread around cities and a dozen camps placed under the direct authority of the Turkish Government. Satellite images confirmed that the first Syrian camps appeared in Turkey in July 2011, shortly after the towns of Deraa, Homs, and Hama were besieged. In September 2014, the UN stated that the number of Syrian refugees had exceeded 3 million. According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Sunnis are leaving for Lebanon and undermining Hezbollah's status. The Syrian refugee crisis has caused the "Jordan is Palestine" threat to be diminished due to the onslaught of new refugees in Jordan. Additionally, "the West Bank is undergoing emigration pressures which will certainly be copied in Gaza if emigration is allowed". Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham claims more than 450,000 Syrian Christians have been displaced by the conflict. As of September 2016, the European Union has reported that there are 13.5 million refugees in need of assistance in the country.
Human rights violations
According to various human rights organizations and United Nations, human rights violations have been committed by both the government and the rebels, with the "vast majority of the abuses having been committed by the Syrian government".
According to three international lawyers, Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges in the light of a huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the "systematic killing" of about 11,000 detainees. Most of the victims were young men and many corpses were emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture. Some had no eyes; others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution. Experts said this evidence was more detailed and on a far larger scale than anything else that had emerged from the then 34-month crisis.
UN reported also that "siege warfare is employed in a context of egregious human rights and international humanitarian law violations. The warring parties do not fear being held accountable for their acts." Armed forces of both sides of the conflict blocked access of humanitarian convoys, confiscated food, cut off water supplies and targeted farmers working their fields. The report pointed to four places besieged by the government forces: Muadamiyah, Daraya, Yarmouk camp and Old City of Homs, as well as two areas under siege of rebel groups: Aleppo and Hama. In Yarmouk Camp 20,000 residents are facing death by starvation due to blockade by the Syrian government forces and fighting between the army and Jabhat al-Nusra, which prevents food distribution by UNRWA. In July 2015, the UN quietly removed Yarmouk from its list of besieged areas in Syria, despite not having been able deliver aid there for four months, and declined to explain why it had done so.
ISIS forces have been accused by the UN of using public executions, amputations, and lashings in a campaign to instill fear. "Forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham have committed torture, murder, acts tantamount to enforced disappearance and forced displacement as part of attacks on the civilian population in Aleppo and Raqqa governorates, amounting to crimes against humanity", said the report from 27 August 2014.
Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions have also been a feature since the Syrian uprising began. An Amnesty International report, published in November 2015, accused the Syrian government of forcibly disappearing more than 65,000 people since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. According to a report in May 2016 by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 60,000 people have been killed since March 2011 through torture or from poor humanitarian conditions in Syrian government prisons.
In February 2017, Amnesty International published a report which accused the Syrian government of murdering an estimated 13,000 persons, mostly civilians, at the Saydnaya military prison. They said the killings began in 2011 and were still ongoing. Amnesty International described this as a "policy of deliberate extermination" and also stated that "These practices, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, are authorised at the highest levels of the Syrian government." Three months later, the United States State Department stated a crematorium had been identified near the prison. According to the U.S., it was being used to burn thousands of bodies of those killed by the government's forces and to cover up evidence of atrocities and war crimes. Amnesty International expressed surprise at the claims about the crematorium, as the photographs used by the US are from 2013 and they did not see them as conclusive, and fugitive government officials have stated that the government buries those its executes in cemeteries on military grounds in Damascus. The Syrian government denied the allegations.
ISIL and al-Qaeda executions
On 19 August, American journalist James Foley was executed by ISIL, who claimed it was in retaliation for the United States operations in Iraq. Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012 by Shabiha militia. ISIL also threatened to execute Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped at the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013. There were reports ISIS captured a Japanese national, two Italian nationals, and a Danish national as well. Sotloff was later executed in September 2014. At least 70 journalists have been killed covering the Syrian war, and more than 80 kidnapped, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On 22 August 2014, the al-Nusra Front released a video of captured Lebanese soldiers and demanded Hezbollah withdraw from Syria under threat of their execution.
The successive governments of Hafez and Bashar al-Assad have been closely associated with the country's minority Alawite religious group, an offshoot of Shia, whereas the majority of the population, and most of the opposition, is Sunni. Alawites started to be threatened and attacked by dominantly Sunni rebel fighting groups like al-Nusra Front and the FSA since December 2012 (see Sectarianism and minorities in the Syrian Civil War#Alawites).
A third of 250,000 Alawite men of military age have been killed fighting in the Syrian civil war. In May 2013, SOHR stated that out of 94,000 killed during the war, at least 41,000 were Alawites.
Many Syrian Christians reported that they had fled after they were targeted by the anti-government rebels. (See: Sectarianism and minorities in the Syrian Civil War#Christians.)
Al Jazeera reported that "The Druze accuse rebels of committing atrocities against their community in Syria ... Syria's Druze minority has largely remained loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since the war began in 2011."
As militias and non-Syrian Shia—motivated by pro-Shia sentiment rather than loyalty to the Assad government—have taken over fighting the opposition from the weakened Syrian Army, fighting has taken on a more sectarian nature. One opposition leader has alleged that the Shia militias often "try to occupy and control the religious symbols in the Sunni community to achieve not just a territorial victory but a sectarian one as well"—allegedly occupying mosques and replacing Sunni icons with pictures of Shia leaders.
According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights human rights abuses have been committed by the militias including "a series of sectarian massacres between March 2011 and January 2014 that left 962 civilians dead".
As the conflict has expanded across Syria, many cities have been engulfed in a wave of crime as fighting caused the disintegration of much of the civilian state, and many police stations stopped functioning. Rates of theft increased, with criminals looting houses and stores. Rates of kidnappings increased as well. Rebel fighters were seen stealing cars and, in one instance, destroying a restaurant in Aleppo where Syrian soldiers had been seen eating. By July 2012, the human rights group Women Under Siege had documented over 100 cases of rape and sexual assault during the conflict, with many of these crimes believed to have been perpetrated by the Shabiha and other pro-government militias. Victims included men, women, and children, with about 80% of the known victims being women and girls.
Local National Defense Forces commanders often engaged "in war profiteering through protection rackets, looting, and organized crime". NDF members were also implicated in "waves of murders, robberies, thefts, kidnappings, and extortions throughout government-held parts of Syria since the formation of the organization in 2013", as reported by the Institute for the Study of War.
Criminal networks have been used by both the government and the opposition during the conflict. Facing international sanctions, the Syrian government relied on criminal organizations to smuggle goods and money in and out of the country. The economic downturn caused by the conflict and sanctions also led to lower wages for Shabiha members. In response, some Shabiha members began stealing civilian properties and engaging in kidnappings. Rebel forces sometimes rely on criminal networks to obtain weapons and supplies. Black market weapon prices in Syria's neighboring countries have significantly increased since the start of the conflict. To generate funds to purchase arms, some rebel groups have turned towards extortion, theft, and kidnapping.
As of March 2015, the war has affected 290 heritage sites, severely damaged 104, and completely destroyed 24. Five of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria have been damaged. Destruction of antiquities has been caused by shelling, army entrenchment, and looting at various tells, museums, and monuments. A group called Syrian Archaeological Heritage Under Threat is monitoring and recording the destruction in an attempt to create a list of heritage sites damaged during the war and to gain global support for the protection and preservation of Syrian archaeology and architecture.
UNESCO listed all six Syria's World Heritage sites as endangered but direct assessment of damage is not possible. It is known that the Old City of Aleppo was heavily damaged during battles being fought within the district, while Palmyra and Krak des Chevaliers suffered minor damage. Illegal digging is considered a grave danger, and hundreds of Syrian antiquities, including some from Palmyra, appeared in Lebanon. Three archeological museums are known to have been looted; in Raqqa some artifacts seem to have been destroyed by foreign Islamists due to religious objections.
In 2014 and 2015, following the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, several sites in Syria were destroyed by the group as part of a deliberate destruction of cultural heritage sites. In Palmyra, the group destroyed many ancient statues, the Temples of Baalshamin and Bel, many tombs including the Tower of Elahbel, and part of the Monumental Arch. The 13th-century Palmyra Castle was extensively damaged by retreating militants during the Palmyra offensive in March 2016. ISIL also destroyed ancient statues in Raqqa, and a number of churches, including the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zor.
In June 2014, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) crossed the border from Syria into northern Iraq, and took control of large swaths of Iraqi territory as the Iraqi Army abandoned its positions. Fighting between rebels and government forces also spilled over into Lebanon on several occasions. There were repeated incidents of sectarian violence in the North Governorate of Lebanon between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government, as well as armed clashes between Sunnis and Alawites in Tripoli.
Starting on 5 June 2014, ISIL seized swathes of territory in Iraq. As of 2014, the Syrian Arab Air Force used airstrikes targeted against ISIL in Raqqa and al-Hasakah in coordination with the Iraqi government.
During the course of the war, there have been several international peace initiatives, undertaken by the Arab League, the United Nations, and other actors. The Syrian government has refused efforts to negotiate with what it describes as armed terrorist groups. On 1 February 2016, the UN announced the formal start of the UN-mediated Geneva Syria peace talks that had been agreed on by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna. On 3 February 2016, the UN Syria peace mediator suspended the talks. On 14 March 2016, Geneva peace talks resumed. The Syrian government insisted that discussion of Bashar-al-Assad's presidency "is a red line", however Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said he hoped peace talks in Geneva would lead to concrete results, and stressed the need for a political process in Syria.
A new round of talks between the Syrian government and some groups of Syrian rebels concluded on 24 January 24, 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, with Russia, Iran and Turkey supporting the ceasefire agreement brokered in late December 2016. The Astana Process talks was billed by a Russian official as a complement to, rather than replacement, of the United Nations-led Geneva Process talks. On 4 May 2017, at the fourth round of the Astana talks, representatives of Russia, Iran, and Turkey signed a memorandum whereby four "de-escalation zones" in Syria would be established, effective of 6 May 2017.
While the war still ongoing, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad claimed that Syria will be able to rebuild the war-torn country on its own. As of July 2018[update], the reconstruction is estimated to cost a minimum of US$400 billion. Assad claims to be able to loan this money from friendly countries, Syrian diaspora and the state treasury. Iran has expressed interest in helping rebuild Syria. International donors have been suggested as one financier of the reconstruction. As of November 2018[update], reports emerged that rebuilding efforts had already started. It was reported that the biggest issue facing the rebuilding process is the lack of building material and a need to make sure the resources that do exist are managed efficiently. The rebuilding effort have so far remained at a limited capacity and has often been focused on certain areas of a city, thus ignoring other areas inhabited by disadvantaged people.
Another aspect of the post war years will be how to repatriate the millions of refugees. The Syrian government has put forward a law commonly known as "law 10", which could strip refugees of property, such as damaged real estate. There are also fears among some refugees that if they return to claim this property they will face negative consequences, such as forced conscription or prison. The Syrian government has been criticized for using this law to reward those who have supported the government. However, the government denies this and has expressed that it wants the return of refugees from Lebanon. In December 2018, it was also reported that the Syrian government has started to seize property under an anti-terrorism law, which is affecting government opponents negatively, with many losing their property. Some people's pensions have also been cancelled.
- Ladder to Damascus (2013)
- Sniper: Legacy (2014)
- Phantom (2015)
- The Father (2016)
- Insyriated (2017)
- Damascus Time (2018)
- A Private War (2018)
- The Return to Homs (2013)
- Red Lines (2014)
- Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014)
- 7 Days in Syria (2015)
- 50 Feet from Syria (2015)
- Our War (2016)
- Salam Neighbor (2016)
- The War Show (2016)
- The White Helmets (2016), which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
- The battle for Syria. Sources: TV air footage (video documentary + English subtitles on YouTube, official video documentary and the official text of the ).VGTRK
- Syrian diary. Sources: TV air footage (video documentary + English subtitles on YouTube), official video documentary of the .VGTRK
- Last Men in Aleppo (2017), nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.
- American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War
- Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War
- Civil uprising phase of the Syrian Civil War
- Foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Hezbollah involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Human rights violations during the Syrian Civil War
- Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
- Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
- Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013)
- Islamist uprising in Syria from 1976 until 1982
- List of aviation shootdowns and accidents during the Syrian Civil War
- List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War
- List of Syrian defectors
- List of wars involving Syria
- Northwestern Syria offensive (April–June 2015) ("Battle of Victory")
- Refugees of the Syrian Civil War
- Rojava conflict (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria) – Kurdish participation in the war
- Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Spillover of the Syrian Civil War
- Syria chemical weapons program
- Syrian Civil War ceasefires
- Syrian Civil War peace process
- Syrian Democratic Council
- Syrian diaspora
- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
- Syrian–Turkish border clashes during the Syrian Civil War
- Terrorism in Syria
- Timeline of the Syrian Civil War
- White Helmets (Syrian Civil War)
- Damascus allows Iraq to hit ISIL targets in Syria: State media, Al Jazeera, Dec 30, 2018.
- Assad gives Iraq green light to launch attacks in Syria without approval, Al-Masdar News, Dec 30, 2018.
- Assad Authorizes Iraq to Attack ISIS in Syria , Haaretz, Dec 30, 2018.
- Iraqi jets strike ISIS target in Syria a day after Damascus carte blanche, The National, Dec 31, 2018.
- Iraqi Air Force bombs ISIS command meeting in Syria, Al-Masdar News, Jan 3, 2019.
- Iraq’s Air Force will begin bombing ISIS in Syria, NewsRep, Jan 1, 2019.
- "Iraq conducts first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria". CNN. February 24, 2017.
- "Chinese Troops Arrive in Syria to Fight Uyghur Rebels". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. December 20, 2017.
- "Lukashenka supplies weapons to Assad". Charter 97.
- Беларусь и Сирия: от дипломатии до военного сотрудничества
- Беларусь выходит в лидеры на рынке средств радиоэлектронной борьбы — Naviny.by, 4 мая 2018
- "Trump ends CIA arms support for anti-Assad Syria rebels: U.S. officials". Reuters. 19 July 2017.
- "Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria". The Guardian. 31 August 2017.
Returning from a summit in the Saudi capital last week, opposition leaders say they were told directly by the foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, that Riyadh was disengaging.
- "Britain withdraws last of troops training Syrian rebels as world powers distance themselves from opposition". Daily Telegraph. 2 September 2017.
- "Hollande confirms French delivery of arms to Syrian rebels". AFP. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- "Iran tests the US in southeastern Syria - FDD's Long War Journal". www.longwarjournal.org. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Watson, Ivan; Tuysuz, Gul (29 October 2014). "Meet America's newest allies: Syria's Kurdish minority". CNN. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- A. Jaunger (30 July 2017). "US increases military support to Kurdish-led forces in Syria". ARA News. Retrieved 1 January 2018 – via Inside Syria Media Center.
- Jamie Dettmer (9 June 2016). "France Deploys Special Forces in Syria as IS Loses Ground". VOA. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "U.S.-backed fighters poised to cut key ISIS supply line". CBS News. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Irish, John (13 November 2013). "Syrian Kurdish leader claims military gains against Islamists". Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
Muslim said the PYD had received aid, money and weapons from the Iraq-based Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan...
- Ranj Alaaldin (16 December 2014). "A Dangerous Rivalry for the Kurds". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
Once again, the P.U.K. saw a chance to seize the initiative, by suggesting that it, rather than the Kurdistan regional government or the K.D.P., was providing weapons and supplies to the Syrian Kurdish fighters, who belong to a party that has historically been at odds with the K.D.P.
- Jack Murphy (23 March 2017). "Did Kurdistan's Counter-Terrorist Group assault the Tabqa Dam in Syria?". SOFREP. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- Alexander Whitcomb (30 October 2014). "Peshmerga advance team in Kobane". Rudaw Media Network. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- "France Says Its Airstrikes Hit an ISIS Camp in Syria". The New York Times. 28 September 2015.
- "COALITION: SPECIAL OPS FORCES TRAIN, EQUIP TWO OPPOSITION GROUPS IN SOUTHERN SYRIA". NRT News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
- "The UAE has it in for the Muslim Brotherhood". Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. 22 February 2017.
Along with their American counterparts, Emirati special forces are said to be training elements of the opposition. They constitute a kind of Arab guarantee among the Syrian Democratic Forces – an umbrella group dominated by the Kurds of the PYD, on whom the US are relying to fight IS on the ground.
- "Saudi Arabia, UAE send troops to support Kurds in Syria". Middle East Monitor. 22 November 2018.
- "Australia to end air strikes in Iraq and Syria, bring Super Hornets home". Reuters. 21 December 2017.
- Barton, Rosemary (26 November 2015). "Justin Trudeau to pull fighter jets, keep other military planes in ISIS fight". CBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- (formerly al-Nusra Front)
- "Syrian Civil War Map - War Statistics". Syrian Civil War Map. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Syrian Civil War Map". Twitter. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Leading Syrian regime figures killed in Damascus bomb attack". The Guardian. July 2012.
- "Syria defence minister killed in Damascus bomb". The Daily Telegraph. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Syria Remains Silent on Intelligence Official's Death". The New York Times. 24 April 2015.
- (Head of National Defence Forces)"Assad cousin killed in Syria's Latakia". Al Jazeera. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Iranian commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani killed by Isis while advising Syrian regime". The Independent. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Iranian General Is Killed in Syria". The Wall Street Journal. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Obituary: Hezbollah military commander Mustafa Badreddine". BBC. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Al-Nusra Front claims responsibility for Hezbollah fighters' death". Middle East Monitor. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Israeli strike on Syrian Golan Heights 'kills son of top military commander and five other fighters from Lebanese Shiite militant group'". Daily Mail. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Analysis: Shiite Afghan casualties of the war in Syria". FDD's Long War Journal. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Update 1-Moscow blames 'two-faced U.S. policy' for Russian general's Syria death -RIA". Reuter. 25 September 2017.
- "Turkish Special Forces: From stopping a coup to the frontline of the ISIL fight". Hürriyet Daily News. 24 August 2016.
- sitesi, milliyet.com.tr Türkiye'nin lider haber. "Son dakika: Afrin harekatını Korgeneral İsmail Metin Temel yönetecek!". Milliyet. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Top Syrian rebel commander dies from wounds". Reuters. 17 November 2013.
- "Leading Syrian rebel groups form new Islamic Front". BBC. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- "Suicide bombing kills head of Syrian rebel group". The Daily Star.
- "Al Qaeda's chief representative in Syria killed in suicide attack". FDD's Long War Journal.
- "Russian raids kill prominent Syrian rebel commander". Al Jazeera. 25 December 2015.
- Nic Robertson & Paul Cruickshank (5 March 2015). "Source: Syrian warplanes kill leaders of al-Nusra". CNN.
- "Senior Nusra Front commander killed in Syria air strike". Al Jazeera. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "Nusra Front spokesman killed by air strike in Syria". Al Jazeera. 4 April 2016.
- "Syria's Qaeda spokesman, 20 jihadists dead in strikes: monitor". AFP. 3 April 2016 – via Yahoo!.
- "Air strike kills top commander of former Nusra group in Syria". Reuters. 9 September 2016.
- "Leader of Qaeda Cell in Syria, Muhsin al-Fadhli, Is Killed in Airstrike, U.S. Says". The New York Times. 2 July 2015.
- "Isis leader incapacitated with suspected spinal injuries after air strike". The Guardian. 1 May 2015.
- "ISIS confirms death of senior leader in Syria". FDD's Long War Journal. February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Alessandria Masi (11 November 2014). "If ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Killed, Who Is Caliph Of The Islamic State Group?". International Business Times. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Schmidt, Michael S.; Mazzetti, Mark (25 March 2016). "A Top ISIS Leader Is Killed in an Airstrike, the Pentagon Says". The New York Times.
- Starr, Barbara (14 March 2016). "U.S. assesses ISIS operative Omar al-Shishani is dead". CNN.
- Ryan, Missy (3 July 2015). "U.S. drone strike kills a senior Islamic State militant in Syria". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Starr, Barbara; Conlon, Kevin (19 May 2015). "U.S. names ISIS commander killed in raid". CNN. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Starr, Barbara; Acosta, Jim (22 August 2015). "U.S.: ISIS No.2 killed in US drone strike in Iraq". CNN.
- Sherlock, Ruth (9 July 2014). "Inside the leadership of Islamic State: how the new 'caliphate' is run". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Isis: US-trained Tajik special forces chief Gulmurod Khalimov becomes Isis war minister". International Business Times. 6 September 2016 – via Yahoo News.
- "Top ISIL leaders killed in southern Syria". The National. 9 June 2017.
- Sands, Phil; Maayeh, Suha web (17 November 2015), "Death of 'ISIL commander' in southern Syria a blow to the group", The National
- "New Operation Inherent Resolve commander continues fight against ISIL". Army Worldwide News. 22 August 2016.
- "Top Syrian Kurdish commander Abu Layla killed by Isis sniper fire". The Independent. 5 June 2016.
- Hisham Arafat (31 August 2017). "Senior SDF commander lost his life in Raqqa fighting IS". Kurdistan 24.
- "Syria military strength". Global Fire Power. 17 October 2015.
- "Syria's diminished security forces". Agence France-Presse. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- ISIS’ Iraq offensive could trigger Hezbollah to fill gap left in Syria The Daily Star, 16 June 2014
- "Iran 'Foreign Legion' Leads Battle in Syria's North". The Wall Street Journal. 17 February 2016.
- "Russia's Syria force has reportedly grown to 4,000 people". Business Insider.
- Grove, Thomas (18 December 2015). "Up to Nine Russian Contractors Die in Syria, Experts Say". Wall Street Journal.
- "State-of-the-art technology is giving Assad's army the edge in Syria". 26 February 2016.
- "Here's The Extremist-To-Moderate Spectrum Of The 100,000 Syrian Rebels". Business Insider.
- "Front to Back". Foreign Policy.
- Cockburn, Patrick (11 December 2013). "West suspends aid for Islamist rebels in Syria, underlining their disillusionment with those forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad". The Independent.
- Who are these 70,000 Syrian fighters David Cameron is relying on?. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Şafak, Yeni (5 January 2017). "8 bin asker emir bekliyor". Yeni Şafak.
- [dead link]
- "Is Syria's Idlib being groomed as Islamist killing ground?". Asia Times.
- "Al Qaeda Is Starting to Swallow the Syrian Opposition". Foreign Policy. 15 March 2017.
- Rida, Nazeer (30 January 2017). "Syria: Surfacing of 'Hai'at Tahrir al-Sham' Threatens Truce". Asharq Al-Awsat.
- "Isis ranks dwindle to 15,000 amid 'retreat on all fronts', claims Pentagon". The Guardian. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "EXCLUSIVE: ISIS Took The Decision To Withdraw From Deir Ezzor". Qasion News. 28 December 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- Rashid (2018), p. 7.
- Rashid (2018), p. 16.
- Rashid (2018), p. 53.
- "US coalition spokesman: Arabs are leading Manbij campaign, not Kurds". ARA News. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "US-backed fighters close in on IS Syria bastion". Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Rodi Said (25 August 2017). "U.S.-backed forces to attack Syria's Deir al-Zor soon: SDF official". Reuters.
- "In about 93 months… about 560 thousand were killed in Syria since the day of claiming rights to the international human rights day". 10 December 2018.
- "Tantalizing promises of Bashar al- Assad kill more than 11000 fighters of his forces during 5 months". SOHR. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "On Balance, Hezbollah Has Benefited from the Syrian Conflict". The Soufan Group. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Russia lost 112 servicemen over three years of counter-terror operation in Syria - MP
СМИ поделились подробностями гибели российского офицера в Сирии – известно имя 7 февраля 2019
Неизвестный солдат: минобороны России не стало сообщать о гибели военного в Сирии
- A Russian Blackwater? Putin’s Secret Soldiers in Ukraine and Syria
Россия скрывает убитых
The oil field carnage that Moscow doesn't want to talk about
26 Syria regime, 9 Russia fighters killed in IS attack: monitor
- "Limited Iranian Losses in Iraq Do Not Indicate Lesser Strategic Interest". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
- "Within 48 hours, Afrin witnesses 2 targeting by the Turkish forces leaving 7 injuries of Kurdish forces' cells".
- "El Bab'da 2 asker şehit oldu".
- "Turkish soldier killed in attack in Syria's Idlib province".
- 8,000 killed in fighting (29 June 2014–28 June 2015), 417 killed in Palmyra offensive (March 2016), 47 killed in fighting with rebels (27–29 May 2016), 1,026 killed in Manbij offensive, 283 killed in Palmyra offensive (2017), 1,371 killed in Battle of Raqqa (2017), 1,394 killed in Central Syria campaign (2017), 538 executed (29 June 2014–23 September 2017), 7,745 killed in U.S. air-strikes (22 September 2014–30 July 2018), 5,201 killed in Russian air-strikes (30 September 2015–30 July 2018), total of 26,022 reported killed
- "YPG releases balance-sheet of 2014: Nearly 5,000 ISIS members killed".
"Balance of the War Against Hostile Groups in Rojava, Northern Syria: Year 2015".
YPG releases the 2016 balance sheet of war
- "Syrian Army Kills Nearly 5,000 IS Militants in Three Months: Source". sputniknews.com. 25 December 2014.
"The army takes full control of Palmyra city, hundreds of ISIS terrorists killed – Syrian Arab News Agency".
- Jonathan Steele. "The Syrian Kurds Are Winning!". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "YPG releases the 2016 balance sheet of war - English". Retrieved 1 April 2017.
- "2017 Balance Sheet of War – Syrian Democratic Forces". 3 January 2018.
- "Amid continuous media silence on the crimes in Afrin, about 1000 people were kidnapped to collect royalties from them, systematic looting, recruiting displaced people in exchange for settlement, and catastrophic humanitarian conditions". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "Pilot killed as U.S. F-16 crashes in Jordan".
"Jordan pilot murder: Islamic State deploys asymmetry of fear". BBC News. 4 February 2015.
"US service member killed in Syria identified as 22-year-old from Georgia". ABC News. 27 May 2017.
"US identifies American service member killed by IED in Syria". ABC News. 27 May 2017.
"French soldier killed in Iraq-Syria military zone, Élysée Palace says". France24. 27 May 2017.
"4 Americans among those killed in Syria attack claimed by ISIS". CNN. 27 May 2017.
- "Violations Documenting Center". Violations Documenting Center. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Ian Black (10 February 2016). "Report on Syria conflict finds 11.5% of population killed or injured". The Guardian.
- (UNHCR), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "UNHCR Syria Regional Refugee Response".
- Thomas Gibbons-Neff (16 September 2016). "U.S. Special Operations forces begin new role alongside Turkish troops in Syria". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Andrew Tilghman (16 November 2016). "U.S. halts military support for Turkey's fight in key Islamic State town". Military Times. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Fadel, Leith (27 September 2016). "US Coalition knew they were bombing the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor".
- "More than 215,000 killed in Syria since 2011". 3news.co.nz.
- "Syria's civil war explained from the beginning". Al Jazeera.
- "Syria: The story of the conflict". BBC News. 11 March 2016.
- "Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protestors in Several Cities". The New York Times. 25 March 2011.
- "U.S.-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria". Reuters. 9 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
- Dewan, Angela; McGann, Hillary (5 June 2018). "US-led strikes on Raqqa may amount to war crimes, Amnesty says". CNN.
- Hubbard, Anne Barnard, Ben; Fisher, Ian (15 April 2017). "As Atrocities Mount in Syria, Justice Seems Out of Reach". The New York Times.
- Lundgren, Magnus (2016). "Mediation in Syria: Initiatives, strategies, and obstacles, 2011–2016". Contemporary Security Policy. 37: 283–298.
- Wilson, Scott (25 April 2011). "Syria escalates attacks against demonstrators". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011.
- "Assad says Syria 'able' to get out of crisis". Al Jazeera. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- Golovnina, Maria (19 March 2012). "Asma al Assad, a "desert rose" crushed by Syria's strife". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Liam Stack; J. David Goodman (1 April 2011). "Syrian Protesters Clash With Security Forces". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "President Bashar al-Assad interview with Croatian newspaper Vecernji List". leakofnations.com. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Syria". U.S. Department of State.
- "The World Factbook: Syria". CIA Library. Archived from the original on 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- "Rebels in Syria's largest city of Aleppo mostly poor, pious and from rural backgrounds". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- CEIC Data.
- "Youth Exclusion in Syria: Social, Economic, and Institutional Dimensions". Journalist's Resource. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Kelley, C. P., Mohtadi, S., Cane, M. A., Seager, R., & Kushnir, Y. (2015). Syria had also received in the same period around 1.5 million refugees from Iraq. By 2011, Syria was facing steep rises in the prices of commodities and a clear deterioration in the national standard of living.
- Fountain, Henry (2 March 2015). "Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- "Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest". The Center for Climate & Security. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Gleick, Peter H. (2014-07-01). "Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria". Weather, Climate, and Society. 6 (3): 331–340. doi:10.1175/wcas-d-13-00059.1.
- "Aleppo water supply cut as Syria fighting rages". BBC News. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "World Report 2010 Human Rights Watch World Report 2010", p. 555.
- Human Rights Watch World Report 2005 Events of 2004, Human Rights Watch 2005. ISBN 1-56432-331-5.
- "Syria's Assad vows to lift emergency law by next week". Reuters. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Syria". Amnesty International. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- Black, Ian (16 July 2010). "Syrian human rights record unchanged under Assad, report says". The Guardian. London.
- "Facts About Sarin". Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Syria Used Chlorine in Bombs Against Civilians, Report Says, The New York Times, Rick Gladstone, 24 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- Louisa Loveluck (9 May 2015). "UN inspectors find undeclared sarin-linked chemicals at Syrian military site". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Syria: Mounting Casualties from Cluster Munitions". Human Rights Watch. 16 March 2013.
- "Russia's Lethal Thermobaric Rocket Launchers: A Game Changer in Syria?". The National Interest.
- Dave Majumdar (2 December 2015). "Russia's Lethal Thermobaric Rocket Launchers: A Game Changer in Syria?". The National Interest. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Syria rebels say Assad using 'mass-killing weapons' in Aleppo – Israel News, Ynetnews. Ynetnews.com (20 June 1995).
- Cumming-Bruce, Nick (4 June 2013). "U.N. Panel Reports Increasing Brutality by Both Sides in Syria". The New York Times.
- "Syria crisis: Incendiary bomb victims 'like the walking dead'". BBC News. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Russia Delivers Kornet Anti-Tank Guided Missiles To Syria". 20 August 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- "Saudi Arabia just replenished Syrian rebels with one of the most effective weapons against the Assad regime – Business Insider". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- Jeremy Binnie, Neil Gibson (8 April 2016). "US arms shipment to Syrian rebels detailed". Jane's Defence Weekly. IHS. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Iran says it hit targets in Syria with Zolfaghar ballistic missiles – Jane's 360". janes.com. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
"Iran's Revolutionary Guard strikes Syria for Tehran attacks". CNBC. 18 June 2017.
- Cohen, Gili; Reuters; Press, The Associated (18 June 2017). "Iran Fires at Militants in Syria in First Use of Mid-range Missiles in 30 Years" – via Haaretz.
- "ISIS reportedly massacres dozens in Syrian village". CBS News. Associated Press. 31 March 2015.
- Khalil Ashawi (13 August 2018). "Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges". Reuters. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018.
- Louisa Loveluck, and Roland Oliphant, "Russia transporting militia groups fighting Islamic State to frontlines in Syria", Telegraph 17 Nov 2015
- Kim Sengupta (12 May 2015). "Turkey and Saudi Arabia alarm the West by backing Islamist extremists the Americans had bombed in Syria". The Independent.
- "Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects". New York Times. 9 May 2017.
- Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg (11 October 2016). "Battle for Aleppo: How Syria Became the New Global War". Der Spiegel.
Syria has become a proxy war between the US and Russia
O'Connor, Tom (31 March 2017). "Iran's military leader tells U.S. to get out of Persian Gulf". Newsweek.
The Gulf Arab faction, especially Saudi Arabia, has been engaged in a proxy war of regional influence with Iran
- "Iran Spends Billions to Prop Up Assad". Bloomberg. 9 June 2015.
- Majid Rafizadeh. Iranian Soldiers in Syria. Gatestone Institute. November 24, 2016.
- "Syrian rebels: US sends more arms against Iran threat". al-Jazeera. 31 May 2017.
- "Donald Trump ends covert CIA aid to Syrian rebels in 'win' for Russia". The Independent. 20 July 2017.
- Weiss, Michael (22 May 2012). "Syrian rebels say Turkey is arming and training them". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Saudi Arabia just replenished Syrian rebels with one of the most effective weapons against the Assad regime". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Roula Khalaf & Abigail Fielding Smith (16 May 2013). "Qatar bankrolls Syrian revolt with cash and arms". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 June 2013. (subscription required)
- Memmott, Mark (13 November 2013). "As Talks Continue, CIA Gets Some Weapons To Syrian Rebels". NPR. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- "IDF chief finally acknowledges that Israel supplied weapons to Syrian rebels". The Times of Israel. 14 January 2019.
- "Dutch govt under fire for Syria opposition support". MSN. 11 September 2018.
- "U.S. has secretly provided arms training to Syria rebels since 2012". Los Angeles Times. 21 June 2013.
- "Syria's war may be the most documented ever. And yet, we know so little". PRI. 19 December 2016.
"Five years in Syria: History's most documented war". Haaretz.
- "UN chief slams Syria's crackdown on protests". Al Jazeera. 18 March 2011.
- "Minister Cannon Condemns Ongoing Violence in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria". Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "China and Russia veto UN resolution condemning Syria". BBC. 5 October 2011.
- "UN launches biggest humanitarian appeal, fearing deepening of Syrian crisis". ReliefWeb. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Syria crisis 'worsening' amid humanitarian funding shortfall, warns top UN relief official". UN News Centre. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 182 session 46 Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations on 19 December 1991
- United Nations, Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP). Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Syrian Arab Republic". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- "USAID/SYRIA". Archived from the original on 2 May 2013.
- "SYRIAN HUMANITARIAN RELIEF".
- "Iran sending tonnes of flour daily to Syria: report". Agence France-Presse. 3 March 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013.
- "Revealed: how Syrian rebels seek medical help from an unlikely source in Israel". 12 January 2014. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Humanitarian aid convoy departs to help Syrian refugees". 27 April 2013.
- "Scores of families leave besieged Aleppo under Russia-Damascus plan". Reuters. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- "WHO warns of Syria disease threat". BBC. 4 June 2013.
- United Nations. (9 November 2017). "Syrian conflict has now lasted longer than World War II – UN humanitarian envoy". UN News Centre website. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- United Nations. (7 December 2017). "Children not a 'bargaining chip' in tug of war between Syrian parties – UN advisor". UN News Centre website. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- UNOCHA. "Syrian Arab Republic – Civil Unrest 2013". Financial Tracking Service. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- "Syrian Martyrs شهداء سورية". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016.
- "U.N.'s Syria death toll jumps dramatically to 60,000-plus". CNN. 3 January 2013.
- "Syria death toll at least 93,000, says UN". BBC News. 13 June 2013.
- "More than 2,000 killed in Syria since Ramadan began". Times of Oman. 25 July 2013. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- McDonnell, Patrick J. (13 June 2013). "U.N. says Syria death toll has likely surpassed 100,000". Los Angeles Times.
- "Syria crisis: Solidarity amid suffering in Homs". BBC. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Enders, David (6 November 2012). "Deaths in Syria down from peak; army casualties outpacing rebels'". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- "400 children killed in Syria unrest". Geneva: Arab News. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Peralta, Eyder (3 February 2012). "Rights Group Says Syrian Security Forces Detained, Tortured Children: The Two-Way". NPR.
- Fahim, Kareem (5 January 2012). "Hundreds Tortured in Syria, Human Rights Group Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Fighting Continues in Syria". Arutz Sheva. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Statistics for the number of martyrs". Violations Documenting Center. 3 June 2013.
- Ian Black, Middle East editor. "Syrian regime document trove shows evidence of 'industrial scale' killing of detainees". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Laura Smith-Spark, CNN (22 August 2014). "More than 191,000 dead in Syria conflict, U.N. finds". CNN. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Black, Ian (11 February 2016). "Report on Syria conflict finds 11.5% of population killed or injured". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- Sparrow, Annie (20 February 2014). "Syria's Polio Epidemic: The Suppressed Truth". New York Review. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
Even before the uprising, in areas considered politically unsympathetic like Deir Ezzor, the government stopped maintaining sanitation and safe-water services, and began withholding routine immunizations for preventable childhood diseases. Once the war began, the government started ruthless attacks on civilians in opposition-held areas, forcing millions to seek refuge in filthy, crowded, and cold conditions.
- Al Rifai, Diana; Haddad, Mohammed (17 March 2015). "What's left of Syria?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Syrian Refugees in Lebanon," The New York Times, 5 September 2013
- "Syrian refugee camps in Turkish territory tracked by satellite". Astrium-geo.com.
- "Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N." Reuters. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Inbari, Pinhas. "Demographic Upheaval: How the Syrian War is Reshaping the Region". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Syrian Civil War Causes One-Third of Country's Christians to Flee Their Homes". The Algemeiner Journal. 18 October 2013.
- "Syrian Refugees".
- "UN must refer Syria war crimes to ICC: Amnesty". GlobalPost. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Sir Desmond de Silva QC, former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the former lead prosecutor of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević, and Professor David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia at the Sierra Leone court
- "foreignaffairs.house.gov". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime". CNN. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic". 12 February 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "UN decries use of sieges, starvation in Syrian military strategy | The New Age Online". The New Age. South Africa. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Yarmouk update: Nusra's apparent return complicates UNRWA's hopes for food program". 3 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- Dyke, Joe (24 July 2015). "Yarmouk camp no longer besieged, UN rules". IRIN. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Syria and Isis committing war crimes, says UN". The Guardian. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "syrias disappeared". BBC News. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- Loveluck, Louisa (5 November 2015). "Amnesty accuses Syrian regime of 'disappearing' tens of thousands". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Monitor: 60,000 dead in Syria government jails Al Jazeera
- "Syria: 13,000 secretly hanged in Saydnaya military prison – shocking new report". Amnesty International.
- "US accuses Syria of killing thousands of prisoners and burning the dead bodies in large crematorium outside Damascus". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
Harris, Gardiner (15 May 2017). "Syria Prison Crematory Is Hiding Mass Executions, U.S. Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- Barnard, Gardiner Harris, Anne; Gladstone, Rick (15 May 2017). "Syrian Crematory Is Hiding Mass Killings of Prisoners, U.S. Says". The New York Times.
- Curt Nickisch (3 May 2013). "N.H. Family: Missing Journalist James Foley In Syrian Prison". WBUR. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Polly Mosendz. "ISIL Beheads American Photojournalist James Foley". The Wire. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Martin Chulov. "Islamic State militants seize four more foreign hostages in Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "James Foley's killers pose many threats to local, international journalists". Committee to Protect Journalists. 20 August 2014. Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- "Captured soldiers: They will kill us, if Hezbollah remains in Syria". The Daily Star Newspaper – Lebanon. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Behari, Elad (23 December 2011). "Syria: Sunnis Threatening to Massacre Minority Alawites". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- Sherlock, Ruth (7 April 2015). "In Syria's war, Alawites pay heavy price for loyalty to Bashar al-Assad". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Karouny, Mariam (14 May 2013). "Syria Death Toll Likely As High As 120,000, Group Says". Reuters. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Dettmet, Jamie (19 November 2013). "Syria's Christians Flee Kidnappings, Rape, Executions". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Druze attack Israeli ambulance carrying wounded Syrians". Al Jazeera. 23 June 2015.
- Nelson, Lara (18 November 2015). "The Shia jihad and the death of Syria's army". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
Without the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese Hezbollah the army could not stand up. [For example, in "the largest and most important military force for Assad in southern Syria" – Division 9,] Seventy percent of the troops ... are Iranian troops or Lebanese Hezbollah, the rest are shabiha. Only two to three percent are regular Syrian soldiers.
- Cave, Damein (9 August 2012). "Crime Wave Engulfs Syria as Its Cities Reel From War". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "The ultimate assault: Charting Syria's use of rape to terrorize its people". Women Under Siege. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- Kozak, Christopher (26 May 2015). "The Regime's Military Capabilities: Part 1". ISW. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
Local NDF commanders often engage in war profiteering through protection rackets, looting, and organized crime. NDF members have been implicated in waves of murders, robberies, thefts, kidnappings, and extortions throughout regime-held parts of Syria since the formation of the organization in 2013.
- Asher, Berman. "Criminalization of the Syrian Conflict". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- "Turkish strikes 'damage ancient temple'". BBC News. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Cunliffe, Emma. "Damage to the Soul: Syria's cultural heritage in conflict". Durham University and the Global Heritage Fund. 1 May 2012.
- Fisk, Robert. "Syria's ancient treasures pulverised". The Independent. 5 August 2012.
- Barnard, Anne (16 April 2014). "Syrian War Takes Heavy Toll at a Crossroad of Cultures". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "Palmyra's Temple of Bel destroyed, says UN". BBC News. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Said, H.; Raslan, Rasha; Sabbagh, Hazem (26 March 2016). "Palmyra Castle partially damaged due to ISIS acts, plans to restore it to its former glory". Syrian Arab News Agency. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016.
- "Threats to Cultural Heritage in Iraq and Syria". US Department of State. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- Hayrumyan, Naira (24 September 2014). "Middle East Terror: Memory of Armenian Genocide victims targeted by ISIS militants". ArmeniaNow. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- David Batty (22 June 2013). "Syrian art smuggled from the midst of civil war to show in London". The Guardian.
- Cave, Damien (24 August 2012). "Syrian War Plays Out Along a Street in Lebanon". The New York Times.
- "Syria pounds ISIS bases in coordination with Iraq". The Daily Star Newspaper – Lebanon. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Lundgren, Magnus (2016). "Mediation in Syria: initiatives, strategies, and obstacles, 2011–2016". Contemporary Security Policy. 37: 273–288.
- "Syria's Assad says he will not negotiate with armed groups". Reuters.
"Assad's priority to defeat 'terrorism' before elections: Russian lawmaker". Reuters.
- "U.N. announces start of Syria peace talks as government troops advance". Reuters. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Envoy suspended Syria talks over Russian escalation: U.N. official". Reuters. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Syria's Assad says hopes Geneva talks lead to concrete results: Kremlin". Reuters. 14 March 2016.
"Syria talks to tackle Bashar al-Assad's presidency". Al Jazeera.
- "Russian negotiator positive after 'birth' of Astana Syria". Reuters.
- РФ, Турция и Иран подписали меморандум о создании в Сирии зон деэскалации Interfax, 4 May 2017.
- "Russia, Turkey and Iran continue cooperation on de-escalation zones in Syria". TASS. 23 June 2017.
- "Syrians will reconstruct country after war themselves, Assad says". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- Pike, John. "Iran will remain on Syria side in post-war reconstruction: VP". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- Sayigh, Yezid. "Reconstructing Syria: The need to break the mould". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- ""Upon land soaked with the blood": on the architects planning the reconstruction of Syria - CityMetric". www.citymetric.com. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Chulov, Martin (26 April 2018). "10m Syrians at risk of forfeiting homes under new property law". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Syria wants its citizens in Lebanon to return, help rebuild". 4 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Syrian state seizes opponents' property, rights activists say". 12 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018 – via www.reuters.com.
- "New Video Game Lets You Kill ISIS While Fighting as Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon". Newsweek. 23 February 2018.
- Hinnebusch, Raymond (2012). "Syria: From 'Authoritarian Upgrading' to Revolution?". International Affairs. 88 (1): 95–113. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2012.01059.x.
- International Crisis Group (13 July 2011). "Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (VII): The Syrian Regimes Slow-Motion Suicide" (PDF). Middle East/North Africa Report N°109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Landis, Joshua (2012). "The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime Is Likely to Survive to 2013". Middle East Policy. 19 (1): 72–84. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.2012.00524.x.
- Lawson, Fred Haley, ed. (1 February 2010). Demystifying Syria. Saqi. ISBN 978-0-86356-654-7.
- Rashdan, Abdelrahman. Syrians Crushed in a Complex International Game. OnIslam.net. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Van Dam, Nikolaos (15 July 2011). The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba'ath Party. I. B. Tauris. ISBN 1-84885-760-8.
- van Dam, Nikolaos (2017). Destroying a Nation: The Civil War in Syria. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78672-248-5.
- Malek, Alia (2017). The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-56858-532-1.
- Pearlman, Wendy (2017). We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-265445-8.
- Wright, Robin (2008). Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East. New York: Penguin Press. pp. 212–261. ISBN 1-59420-111-0.
- Ziadeh, Radwan (2011). Power and Policy in Syria: Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-434-5.
- Cordesman, Anthony "Failed State Wars" in Syria and Iraq (III): Stability and Conflict in Syria Center for Strategic and International Studies. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- Fox News exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Fox News, 18 September 2013
- Interview with Bashar Assad: 'In the End, a Lie Is a Lie' Der Spiegel, 7 October 2013
- President Bashar al-Assad's interview with Agence France Presse AFP 20-01-2014 20 January 2014
- A discussion of the causes of the civil war at the United Nations University for Peace.
- First ever broadcast interview with Jabhat al Nusra founder Abu Mohammed al-Joulani
Supranational government bodies
Human rights bodies
- Syria's war at BBC News
- Syrian uprising: A year in turmoil at The Washington Post
- Syria Pulse collected news and commentary at Al Monitor
- Latest Syria developments at NOW Lebanon
- "Syria collected news and commentary". The Guardian.
- Syria collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Syria news, all the latest and breaking Syria news at The Daily Telegraph
- Syria collected coverage at Al Jazeera English
- Syria collected news at Intelligence Online
- Interactive Map of the Syrian Civil War
- Syria Deeply at News Deeply
- Maps of Europe and Syrian Civil War (omniatlas.com)