The conflict in Syria between its Arab nationalist government and pro-democracy advocates began with demonstrations in January of 2011. The movement is considered to be a subsidiary of the “Arab Spring” movements founded in Tunisia and Egypt in which demonstrators demanded greater freedom from government control.
By March, the Syrian fight against autocracy had become violent. The government, headed by President Bashar al-Assad, turned the Syrian Army on its people. Those in the army who refused to fight were killed. Others defected and formed the Free Syrian Army, the largest militant force opposing the Syrian government. While the conflict is centered in Homs, Syria’s third largest city and the “Capital of the Revolution,” the government has suspended vital utilities and provisions from Syrian communities associated with rebel forces.
In the spring and summer of 2011, the government made several concessions to the protestors; however, Syrians are still fighting for complete political freedom. Despite the massive death tolls and influx of Syrian refugees into neighboring countries, the international community and the United Nations have yet to agree on any terms of intervention.
(Photo: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters)