Crisis in Syria

What started as peaceful protests stemming from the general chain of Middle Eastern uprisings to overthrow corrupt government officials and protect human rights (known as the Arab Spring) has erupted into what many consider to be pure chaos in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad’s deployment of Syrian troops to violently subdue the demonstrations led to a full-blown war, with rebels fighting to dethrone Assad and the autocratic Ba’ath Party. Outside countries such as Russia and Iran have been instrumental in aiding President Assad and his regime, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been the main proponents assisting the rebels in their cause. According to the UN, there have been more than 100,000 deaths since the war’s start in March 2011, including civilians, armed protestors, Syrian soldiers and government officials. Approximately 4 million have been displaced from their homes and an additional 2 million have fled the country. The US has remained relatively neutral in the fight, supplying non-combative aid such as medical supplies, food and clean water. But after reports surfaced that Assad has been using chemical weapons on protestors, President Barack Obama sided with the rebels; calling for a military strike against the Syrian leader, which was recently approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, the resolution must be approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives before military force can be issued.  (Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah) 

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