The and snowballing into providing security for their local



            The Syrian conflict has been
bubbling over since 2011 and has just recently erupted into something more
urgent in terms of international relations. 
The United Nations has taken the initiative to get involved in the
Syrian conflict due to the urgency of the matter.  Due to the unnecessary amount of human
casualties and the recent blockade if the countries ports, if actions aren’t
taken now to seize the advancement of the Saudi-led coalition, then there’s no
telling in what state Saudi Arabia will be in by 2018.

            To further understand how the
conflict in Syria turned into a UN matter, one must start at the
beginning.  The start of the Syrian
conflict was back in 2011, when pro-democracy protests erupted in March in
Deraa after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary
slogans on the wall of a school. 
Security forces opened fire on the demonstration, thus killing several
people which is what caused for the call of the resignation of the current
president in Syria.  This caused
opposition supporters to take up arms, at first with the intention of defending
themselves and snowballing into providing security for their local areas.  This was only the tip of the iceberg when it
came to the Syrian conflict, after the opposition forces took to the streets
with weapons, the rest of Syria soon followed.

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            The state of Syria fell into a state
of civil war, due to forces battling the governments forces for control of the
cities and countryside.  The conflict may
have only started at this time but was off to a rigid start.  At this time in the conflict, it is estimated
that 90,000 people had been killed and by August of 2015, that figure nearly
tripled.  The conflict can be divided
into two sides, those for the president and those against the president.  Neither side is in the right for this
conflict due to a UN commission inquiry stating that both sides have par-took in
the action of war crimes which can include murder, torture, and rape.  Another tactic that both forces have utilized
is the suffering of the civilians through means of blockades.  It has been through the examination of these
heinous crimes that the United Nations decided to play a more official role in
the conflict.

            It was after both sides committed
awful crimes against humanity, that the UN Security Council demanded all
parties end the indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas where the
civilian population is most concentrated. 
This action was of no prevail because civilians were still dying by the
hundreds each day.  The United Nations
also accused both sides of the war of waging a campaign of terror, this is due
to the public executions, amputations, and even several beheadings of Westerners
for those who refuse to follow the rules set forth by each individual side
during this time.  Due to the extremes of
the situation, millions of people have attempted to flee Syria to find safety
in neighboring countries.  The UN has
stated that they will need 3.2 billion dollars to help the 13.5 million people
in total that have fled Syria and or have been displaced internally.  The most important issue in the matter is
always the civilians and the civilians being the main reason why the United Nations
have gotten involved in the first place.

            To bring initial peace into Syria,
the United Nations Security Council called for the implementation of the 2012
Geneva Communique, which envisages a transitional governing body, but this did
not last long due to its breakdown in 2014 due to the Syrian government
refusing to listen to the oppositions demands. 
This then triggered the US and Russia to get representatives of the
government and the opposition to talk of peace in Geneva 2016.  At these talks, they discussed a Security
Council-endorsed road map for peace which includes a ceasefire on both sides.
None of these talks did work in the way that there was no ceasefire, yet the
exact opposite.  The war got worse in terms
of casualties and the blockade of ports never stopped, still causing the major
suffering of the civilians.  The
worsening of the Syrian conflict has only led to civil unrest throughout the
world, thus is what caused the UN and the US to get involved. 

One theoretical approach you can
apply to this situation would be the Just War theory.  The Just War Theory deals with how and why
wars are fought.  The theoretical
approach to this theory is in the way it’s concerned with ethically justifying
war and the forms that warfare may or may not take.  The Just War theory justifies as to why we
got involved in this war in the first place. 
It is said we got involved in this war because stability is part of our
foreign policy in order to maintain ourselves as the alpha country throughout
the world.  Another theory that can be
applied to the Syrian conflict is certain aspects of realism.  Realism lies on four core assumptions; states
are the central actors in the international aspect, states are unitary and
rational actors (moved by egoism), states act according to their own
self-interest, and finally that the international system is anarchic.   

To apply the Realist perspective
to the Syrian conflict, I first applied the theory to the supporters of the
government in Syria.  On the side of the
government, the main supporters are Iran, with its ally Russia.  Since the
earliest months of the conflict, Russia has been supporting the government by
suppling weapons and by sending military and technical advisers to aid the
Syrian government. On the 30th of September in 2015, following a
request for help coming from the Syrian government, Russia opted for a direct
military intervention that, though allegedly aimed at fighting ISIS, was mainly
targeting the opposition. Such intervention can be explained in terms of
balance of power and of the material self-interests that Moscow has in the
region and on whose function it makes its choices.  The government’s other ally, Iran, since the
beginning of the war has provided to the Syrian government financial, technical,
and military support by sending its Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Such
involvement on part of Iran can be explained through considerations of balance
of power.        

The second way I applied this
theory was to the oppositions allies, who are the United States and in some
aspects of the war, Saudi Arabia.  The
United States showed aspects of realism throughout the conflict by initially
intervening by means of sanctions against the government; CIA’s programs to arm
and train Syrian allegedly moderate rebels; and supplies of arms to the
SNC.  In September of 2014, the US put
itself at the head of an international coalition to conduct airstrikes against
ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the United States carried out these airstrikes because
they wanted to avoid any action that might benefit the Assad regime and by
sending in airstrikes they did just that. The logic behind such a strategy can
be explained through Realism. As seen, in a Realist perspective national
interests and the “will-to-power” are the major drivers of a state’s action and
the United States’ intervention in Syria does not make any exception to said
realist assumption.  Regarding Saudi
Arabia, the balance-of-power logic behind Iran’s intervention applies in a
concentrated focus over Riyadh.  The conflict in Syria can indeed be read
as a direct struggle for power and influence over the region between Saudi
Arabia and Iran. In the Saudis’ perspective, overthrowing Assad would mean
upsetting the existent balance of power and creating a new one.  By hitting Iran’s only relevant and stable
ally, Riyadh would see the scale of the bilateral confrontation lean in its
favor, since it would have a new area over which to exert its political

The Syrian conflict once started
out as demonstrations over the need of democracy has spiraled into all out
civil war.  Talks of peace have back
fired due to neither side willing to give into the other sides
demands/wishes.  Some believe that a political
solution may resolve the issue at hand due to the fact that the root of this
problem is the want of the current president of Syria’s resignation by the
opposition.  This conflict has been going
on for close to 7 years now and with no sight of peace in mind, solutions have
been issued to hard power usage by surrounding countries in hopes to ease the
conflict and in totality to save the civilians that have been unnecessarily
harmed in the process.