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: Hundreds of “White Helmet” volunteers are being evacuated with the help of Jordan and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), hoping to be relocated to either Canada, the United Kingdom or Germany. The white helmets are officially know as the Syrian Defense League (SDL) and have been credited with saving thousands of lives. They are considered a non partisan and non governmental organization, however, Syria and Russia see them as “agents of foreign powers,” which is why they are in danger should the pro-Syrian forces retake most rebel held areas which they are expected to do.

On July 22, the State Department put out the following statement: