“There are so many different sub-societies inside of Syria.”
~ Abdallah II of Jordan
The quote above summarizes the Syrian opposition. The civil war in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives, and more than 2.3 million refugees. The conflict started with protests in March of 2011, but even after 3 years of war and protest, it is still unclear on who is fighting whom. But it is clear who the major groups are, the F.S.A (Free Syrian Army), Al Qaida Inspired groups, Islamist groups, Kurdish fighters, and the Syrian government.
So why should Americans be concerned with what is going on with Syria? The two main concerns we should have are Al Qaida and oil prices. Al Qaida would love to have another broken Middle Eastern country to operate in, and violence in Syria could potentially hurt the prices we have to pay at the pump (Fantz, April 10, 2012).
It all started with a non-violent protest in March 2011 with locals trying to protest for the release of 15 schoolchildren from prison. They were put into prison for writing anti-government graffiti on the walls of the Syrian City of Deraa. While locals were protesting peacefully, the government responded very angrily, killing four people. At the funerals of the four victims the government opened fire again killing one person. The unrest spread to other parts of the country soon after this.
All the protesters wanted were just a peaceful protest for democracy and greater freedom. But after the government took harsh actions on the protest, people demanded that President Bashar al-Assad to resign. He refused to do so. But as the violence started to worsen, the President tried to offer new changes, but many people didn't believe him.
Just 2 months after the protests began, the Syrian government fully committed them to stopping them. As the government was trying to do so, it caused more unrest around the country. In July of 2011, the conflict had taken more than 17,000 lives and 170,000 people fled the country (according to the United Nations). By August of 2011, The United States and fellow countries such as Britain, Germany, and France called on the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to step down. The Arab League, which is an organization consisting of independent Arab States, decided to suspend the Syrian membership the following November because of assumption that President Bashar al-Assad defied to an agreement to stop the violence (Macfarquhar, November 12, 2011).
During that same month the first attack towards a military base occurred, which was executed by the F.S.A.
In the first months of 2012, the American government decided to shut down the embassy in Damascus, due to rising violence rates. The...