21st Century Breakdown

Drishya Sobhana Narayanan, reporting from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), pens a timeline of the events that have built up into the issue in global focus: the Syrian Civil War.

Four letters: they hover over humanity. An inhumane and misguided dogma drizzles light chilly rain, the dark clouds looming above. The anchor is a mere illusion as we stand on the shaky desk in denial of the upcoming tempest. A heavy downpour is expected any time now.

What led to the creation of the Islamic State (IS) and the meltdown of human empathy?

Flashback to May 2007: Bashar al-Assad, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, assumes office for the second time. He won, officially, with 96.7 % of the vote. Assad, a medical college graduate from the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with many merits to his name, was visionary in his own mind. He sought to make an advanced economy out of Syria. His reforms were seen as radically capitalist by the existing members of the Ba’ath Party and thus perceived to be overwhelming for the simplistic citizens. The result being a stark divide between the rich and poor, choking of civil rights, even deployment of secret agents to ensure the new government’s rules.

Assad’s foreign policy was particularly unfavourable towards the United States of America (USA) and the State of Israel. In 2010, the USA issued new sanctions against Syria, stating that it was breeding terrorist groups and intended to create weapons of mass destruction.

In 2011, following the Arab Spring, Syrians declared the “Day of Rage” on 15 March, calling for a democratic restructuring and demanding the release of political prisoners. Three days later, security forces were ordered to fire on people protesting in Daraa. By June of the same year, the same security forces joined the protesters they were ordered to shoot. On August 2011, then US President Barack Obama demanded that Assad resign. A year later, the country witnessed a stronger uprising instigated by the bombing of a Syrian government building in Damascus which killed Assad’s brother-in-law and the defence minister.

The rebellion soon spread to Aleppo. The opposition factions created an umbrella organisation named the Syrian National Coalition. In 2013, the United Nations (UN) marked the refugee count at as high as one million. The Syrian government has also denied any chemical attack on its citizens.

On September 2013, some rebel groups abandoned the Syrian National Coalition and rejected its calls for a civil, democratic government. Seven of them later formed their own alliance, the Islamic Front, intended to eventually create a state governed by Islamic law. The Front went on to seize control of major parts of the Republic of Iraq and other countries of the Middle-east. This frontier has grown to now become the cruelest and most feared opposition to world peace.

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