The Syrian Arab Republic, more commonly referred to as Syria, is a country in Western Asia that has been the center of a brutal civil war since 2011. A full fledged war between the government and anti-government groups erupted from protests against President Assad’s regime, leaving the country in a state of turmoil. The war has attracted the Islamic State, or ISIL from Iraq, and has further escalated the destruction and seriousness of the conflict in Syria.
ISIL is a militant group who follows Islamic fundamentalist beliefs, and claims religious, military, and political authority over all Muslims. Many groups contest and reject this notion, such as the United Nations, many muslims and governments. ISIL has been able to gain power and territory in Syria while the country is distress form the war, and exerts its extremist powers by mutilating and members of certain religious groups and foreigners. The Islamic State has recruited approximately 25,000 foreign soldiers, most who are fighting in Syria. The extremist group is notorious for using social media as a platform to demonstrate the savageness and relentlessness of the group by videotaping and posting beheadings and other forms of killing.
This weekend, more destruction has hit this struggling country. Amid the Syrian Peace Talks taking place in Geneva, which have been reported as taking a rocky start due to difficult negotiations and differing ideas, ISIL has attacked once again, this time targeting the Syrian capital of Damascus. At least 50 people have perished during a suicide bombing in the countries capital, further raising tension among the government, the citizens, and world leaders who are adamant about making a change in Syria. The first attack was executed through a car bombing, and the next two were suicide bombings near the Sayyida Zeinab mosque, a site of pilgrimage. ISIL later took claim of the horrendous act on social media stating, “Two soldiers of the caliphate carried out martyrdom operations in a den of the infidels in the Sayyida Zeinab area, killing nearly 50 and injuring around 120”. ISIS has been known to take claim for their ‘martyrdom’ on various social media platforms and magazines. These attacks, occurring as the Peace Talks take place, shows just how relentless and dangerous this extremist group is, and further enforces the notion that Syria, and other surrounding countries, are not safe and are at stake for further harm and more casualties. Pictures and photos reveal crumpled buildings, and frightened citizens surrounded by the ruins of their land at the site of the attacks, as seen below.
Syria is essentially being destroying and emptied out due to war conflict and extremist activity. 4.1 million citizens have fled the country, creating chaos in Europe (destination for many refugees) and other countries in Africa and Asia. Many of said refugees do not make it to their intended destination, death by drowning is very common during the journey across the Mediterranean to a more peaceful land. Many European countries do not have the capacity or money to take in these refugees, which is causing tension not only in Syria and the middle east, but across continents. Many refugees don’t have anywhere to go, and there has been talk of many countries deciding against letting refugees into their countries and Aside from these deaths, approximately 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the war, and around 6.5 million people have been ‘internally displaced’ (cfr.org). Essentially, the war as well as the destruction caused by ISIL has created a country in much need of resolutions to be found at the Geneva Peace Talks. Syria and its citizens are struggling to perpetuate as war and murder infiltrates the country.