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The Syrian Civil War: Ongoing Protests

The Syrian Civil War


The Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011, with protestors demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and his authoritarian governing party, The Syrian Arab Republic. Protestors were met with violence from the government, leading to a full-fledged civil war which continues today.


About The Syrian Arab Republic


Syria’s government is a totalitarian one-party state. By arresting or murdering opposing forces (including the political leaders Ghassan al-Najar and Adnan Mustafa), this governing party has maintained power through the force of their Military Committee.


Ba’athism is the ideology of The Syrian Arab Republic. This nationalist thought seeks to unite Arabic countries and peoples, in promotion of the idea of a single unified Arab nation. Ba’athism originally advocated for socialism (state control over key industries and resources) and anti-imperialism (a rejection of foreign control). However, the political and internal power struggles of Syria have turned the application of Ba’athist principles into an authoritarian regime.


Ongoing Protests


Protests against the Syrian Arab Republic have taken place amongst Syrian citizens, ranging from peaceful student demonstrations to large-scale rallies. The ongoing Syrian Revolution (since 2011) aims to restore a democratic government and has been met by the Syrian military with extreme violence.


Over the past few weeks, Syrian activists have protested the surging inflation and spiralling economy of their war-ridden country. Due to the harsh living conditions in Syria, hundreds have joined the current activists in direct protest against Bashar al-Assad's totalitarian regime. Half of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million has been displaced, large parts of the infrastructure has been crippled and 90 per cent of Syrians are living in poverty. Therefore, although these demonstrations recall the violence of Syria’s 2011 uprising (killing at least 300,000 civilians), protestors are at a breaking point with the regime’s inability “to provide people with any of their needs,” as remarked by Rayan Marou.


Authoritarian response


So far, the government has arrested 57 people without using violent suppression. With the totalitarian party in firm control over Syria, protestors do not pose a threat to forced removal of their power. The Human Rights Watch has reinstated that as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Syria is required under Article 21 to recognize and protect the right to peaceful assembly.


Edited by: Anwen Venn

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Tags: #War #Syria #Protest #PresidentBasharAl-Assad #SyrianCivilWar #TheSyrianArabRepublic


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