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 (the 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 it since the beginning in 2011, and all have participated in varying degrees. The major world players are Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Lebanon, Russia and the United States. Some of the major non-state groups involved are; The Free Syrian Army, ISIL, the Kurds, and various other rebel groups.

Developments: Israel has declared the end of the Syrian Civil War this past week as fighting has dwindled down with only small pockets of resistance. In northern Syria, the Kurds are in talks with the Syrian government to reintegrate back into the country.

What to watch: Watch for what happens with the White Helmets, who were recently evacuated from the southern part of Syria, as they settle down in Canada, Great Britain and Germany. Look for negotiations between the Kurds in the north and the Syrian government, especially as the Kurds look to reintegrate back into Syrian society. Many, if not millions of Syrian refugees, will start returning home once stability is brought back to the region. About half of the country is thought to have fled the conflict, creating large populations of refugees in countries such as Germany.