Syria had an eventful 2018 that has changed it forever. That’s why it’s worth exploring these 2018 events. The Syrian war started in 2011, but even before that, a lot of Syrians were already complaining about the corruption, high unemployment, and the lack of political freedom under President Bashar al-Assad.
Uprisings erupted in 2011, but when the Syrian government used deadly force to fight the protests, the unrest spread, which little do they know will last for 10 years.
In 2018, the government recaptured Eastern Ghouta and Daraa governorate through unlawful tactics to force the people in these areas to surrender. That year, the country experienced a war. Armed men were allowed to attack civilians and restricted most of them from fleeing.
It was also in 2018 when foreign powers started to take sides, sending weapons, fighters, and money that worsened the situation in Syria. What made it even worse is that jihadist organizations like the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda got involved, and the international community saw them as a major threat.
The Syrian-Russian military alliance worsened things by using banned cluster munitions and chemical weapons involving medical facilities. Unlawful attacks persisted with more airstrikes that targeted several towns and provinces that have destroyed hospitals and civil defense centers.
Over 500,000 persons were besieged, and a majority of them were besieged by the government forces in Eastern Ghouta. Between February and April, hundreds of civilians were killed and maimed in indiscriminate attacks on Damascus. The anti-government groups based in Ghouta would arrest and torture civilians in Douma regularly.
Furthermore, arrests and kidnappings of political opponents and journalists were also widespread. This was carried out by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Aside from that, there were regular assassinations and car bombings. In July, ISIS killed at least 200 individuals and kidnapped 27 people. Some of the hostages were killed in August. In November, the remaining hostages were freed.
The conflict that destroyed several cities, such as Idlib, Aleppo, and Raqqa, isn’t the end of it all. Today, many civilians are in the country, while there is a great number of Syrians seeking refuge elsewhere. Despite the sense of calm that has enveloped several areas in the country, it is now forever scarred—the men, women, children, and families will forever carry the trauma of the civil war, and will possibly be fighting a war inside themselves for a really long time.
Many countries all over the world continue to provide support to the country, but it’s going to take some time before it fully recovers. Syria’s economy continues to take a downturn, which affects essential resources. Today, the country is in a very bad state and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, there are many ways people all over the world can help. Also, there’s a renewed hope, somehow, with the Biden administration that could turn things around in Syria.
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