Unravelling the Syrian crisis

  • Sep 20, 2019
  • Published in Syria

By Afro-Middle East Centre

Introduction: Background to the uprising

Nearly nine months into the Syrian uprising, the death toll, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), has reached a staggering 5 000 people (civilians, government soldiers, army defectors and members of armed opposition groups). Despite a consistently rising death toll and continued violence, the situation has reached an impasse.

While turmoil in Egypt and Syria persists we speak about the United States plan to intervene in Syria and discuss how the situation in both regions is likely to end. Joining ABN'S Karima Brown is Na'eem Jeenah, Exec Director, AFRO-Middle East Centre.

By AlJazeera Centre for Studies

The Syrian uprising against the Baath Party regime started with a small demonstration in the Al-Hariqa quarter of Damascus. The demonstration lasted for about half an hour before being dispersed by security forces who arrested many of the participants. The demonstration sparked a rapid succession of protests in different parts of Syria in the weeks that followed.

The southern city of Dar'a; Latakia and Baniyas in the north; and Duma in Rif Dimashq were the most prominent sites of protest. In these places, the popular movement involved in the uprisings faced tremendous violence from the security services, leading to the deaths of approximately three hundred Syrians in one month of protests. However, neither the violence of the security apparatuses nor the official media narrative of foreign terrorist and Salafi agitation succeeded in quelling or confining the uprising.

By the Afro-Middle East Centre

The sixteen month long Syrian uprising hit a critical juncture last Friday, 22 June, when Syria downed an unarmed Turkish F4 Phantom plane. An enraged Turkey maintained the plane was shot down in international airspace after it had only momentarily, and accidentally, strayed into Syrian territory while on a training sortie. Syria, which immediately admitted it had shot down the plane, countered that the plane had been gunned down over Syrian territory and that its forces had acted to protect its sovereignty. Although the incident has potentially changed the rules of engagement between Turkey and Syria, it is by no means a game changer for either.

By Afro-Middle East Centre
The audacious bombing of the high-level crisis cell meeting of Syrian President Bashar al Asad’s inner-circle last week that left four of Asad’s closest aides dead, had Syrian opposition groups elatedly proclaiming ‘the beginning of the end’ of the Asad regime. This was echoed by much of western media, which loudly forecast the imminent ousting of the Syrian president.

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What is AMEC?

What is AMEC?

Established in 1998, the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) aims to foster, produce and disseminate the highest quality of research on the Middle East, to maintain public discussion and to help shape the public discourse on issues related to the Middle East. Amec's research includes relations between Africa and the Middle East.

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