The Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has seen so far. The brutal fighting has already cost over 460,000 lives, while forcing five million refugees to flee the country.
Sadly, the war hit international headlines last week with the heartbreaking image of a father cradling his tiny, lifeless twin babies who were killed in a chemical attack in Syria, they were nine-months old.
President Trump responded to the nerve-attack by firing 59 Tomahawk missiles at military targets in Syria, a move that was condemned by the Syrian regime, and by Russia – their foremost ally.
It was the latest strike in what’s been a long and brutal war fought between four main factions: Bashar al-Assad, an anti-Assad rebels army, the Kurdistan Workers Part (KWP), and the Islamic State.
What makes things even more complex is that each side has different foreign backers, and sometimes they seem a bit confused about who they’re backing and why. Just this week for example, we’ve seen the U.S. step in, the UK choose not to get involved, and the Russians condemning both Washington and London.
The great guys over at Vox have put together an incredible video that sums up the entire conflict, right back to its beginnings in 2011. It breaks down the key players involved and their ideologies in a way that’s easy to understand.
With the horrendous chemical attack last week, Trump’s airstrikes and Russia’s condemnation of American aggression, the conflict shows no signs of slowing down.
Much of Syria has been reduced to rubble, over 450,000 Syrians have lost their lives, more than a million people have been injured; and over 12 million Syrians – which was half the country’s total population before the war – have been displaced from their homes.
Such shocking numbers mean that even if a cease fire was called tomorrow, the traumatised people and war town country would take decades to rebuild.