Friday, June 9, 2023

Syria – The Birthplace of Global Terrorist Organizations

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One of the earliest settlements of humans after the four ancient civilizations can be found in the land of Syria. Syria, located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East, has deep cultural roots and long standing heritage. Syria’s rich culture is characterized by its ancient history, diverse ethnic and religious groups, and numerous artistic heritage sites. It is home to ancient ruins such as Palmyra and Ugarit, and architectural marvels like the Great Mosque of Damascus. The country has a thriving artistic scene in music and literature. Syrian society is deeply rooted in tradition, with family and hospitality playing important roles in everyday life. Despite the devastating impact of the Syrian Civil war, Syria’s cultural heritage remains a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of its people.

History Lost Amid the Destruction of These Syrian UNESCO World Heritage Sites - ABC News

Demography of Syria

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PC Arab News

Syria has a diverse religious landscape with various communities residing in the country. Muslims constitute the majority of the population at around 87% of the total population, and Sunnis are the largest community in the country. Shia Muslims, Alawites, and Druze are the other significant Muslim communities in the country. Christians constitute approximately 10% of the population. Other minority religious groups in Syria include small communities of Jews, Yazidis, and atheists.

Syrian Civil War : The rise of Terrorist Organizations

The Syrian civil war, which began in 2011, was the birthplace of numerous extremist groups. Syria was home to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which was responsible for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent history. While the origins of ISIS can be traced back to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, it was the Syrian civil unrest that provided ISIS with access to required resources to enable their growth. ISIS grew into a formidable force that continues to rule over the regions in Syria and Iraq.

Intel Chiefs: Syria a 'Huge Magnet' for International Terrorists – Foreign Policy
PC Foreign Policy

As the conflict in Syria intensified, various opposition groups emerged, including a loose coalition of Islamist factions known as the Syrian Islamic Front. It was within this context that ISIS began to gain strength, building alliances with other groups and establishing its own territory in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s brutal tactics and extreme ideology soon drew international attention, and the group quickly became one of the most feared and reviled terrorist organizations in the world. Its attacks on civilians, beheadings of journalists, and destruction of ancient cultural sites have been widely condemned by other governments and global humanitarian organizations.

The Syrian civil war also provided a fertile ground for the rise of extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front which have ties to Al-Qaeda. These groups have been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks across the world. They pose as a significant threat to regional and global security. Terror groups like Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Jaysh al-Fateh, Harakat al-Muthanna al-Islamiya, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar also originated in Syria.

These Islamic terror groups have committed several horrific acts against humanity in the name of Islamic Jihad in the region. They are committed to the development of a global Islamic State.

Global Reaction on Syrian Civil War

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PC The Moscow Times

The countries of the world have diverse responses to the Syrian civil war. The Russian government is a major supporter of the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad. Russia provides military and economic support to the Syrian government. Iran is also a supporter of the Syrian government. It aids the Assad regime via military and economic support. The US has supported various moderate opposition groups in Syria and has conducted airstrikes against the extremist terror groups like ISIS. Turkey, the Gulf Countries, and the other Arab nations support the various opposition groups in the country. While Israel is not in favor of the Assad regime, it also does not support the opposing faction. The country protects its borders and sovereignty by conducting hostile airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria.

China supports the Assad regime through a diplomatic alignment but does not provide direct military aid to Syria. In 2019, China and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding on the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which aims to boost economic cooperation and development in Syria and other countries in the region. India has maintained diplomatic relations with both the Syrian government and the opposition. In 2017, India participated in the Syrian peace talks held in the Kazakh capital of Astana, and expressed support for the talks as a means to achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict. India plays a rather neutral role on the global crisis related to Syria. It specifies a greater need for international cooperation in addressing the threat of terrorism in Syria, particularly related to the extremist groups and their ideology. India has expressed concern over the spread of terrorism and radicalization in the country.

Future of Syria

While the conflict in Syria is far from over, there have been some positive developments in recent years. The death of the self-proclaimed caliph of ISIS in 2019 has de-escalated the situation in Syria. However, ISIS still has territorial strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Turkey continues to support some moderate and extremist groups in Northeast Syria. The international community has ramped up its efforts to counter extremist ideologies and combat terrorism. Additionally, there have been diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to the continued conflict in Syria.

In conclusion, the Syrian civil war was a major catalyst for the growth of ISIS like extremist terror groups. These groups are globally recognized as a significant threat to regional and global security beyond the borders of Syria. Although progress has been made in combating terrorism that originated in Syria, much remains to be done to address the root causes of extremism and to find a lasting political solution to the Islamic terror organizations.




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