Syrian Conflict

The Syrian War started in 2011 as an uprising and protests against the government of Syria led by Bashar Al Assad.  Originally,  the rebel forces were known as the Free Syrian Army but later splintered into several different groups, one of which is ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).  The conflict is complex, with several internal and external groups and nations fighting for control of Syria and Northern Iraq.

This conflict has grown in complexity with more groups and nations being pulled into the conflict since the beginning in 2011 to include to varying degrees: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Lebanon, Russia and The United States.  Some of the major nonstate groups to be involved are: The Free Syrian Army, ISIL, the Kurds, and various other rebel groups.

Developments: Russia has sent at least a dozen ships, including two frigates off the coast of Syria and possibly as many as 17 according to Syrian sources.  Both the Russian and Syrian forces are preparing for the siege and recapture of the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib province.  The United States and the U.K. have warned Russia and Syria that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated and will be responded by with more airstrikes against various targets within Syria.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami visited with Bashar Al Assad this past week signing an agreement which would solidify an existing agreement meant at keeping Iranian troops within Syria.  The United States and Isreal are greatly opposed to this deal for security reasons.