*Syria is now mired in an armed conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al Asad and rebel fighters opposed to his rule. -Since major unrest began in March 2011, various reports suggest that between 22,000 and 25,000 Syrians have been killed. -U.S. officials and many analysts believe that President Bashar al Asad, his family members, and his other supporters will ultimately be forced from power, but few offer specific, credible timetables for a resolution to Syria’s ongoing crisis. -In the face of intense domestic and international pressure calling for political change and for an end to violence against civilians, the Asad government offered limited reforms while also meeting protests and armed attacks with overwhelming force.
-Nonviolent protests continued, but their apparent futility created frustration and anger within the opposition ranks. -An increasing number of Syrian civilians have taken up arms in self-defense, although armed rebel attacks alienate some potential supporters. -The government accuses the opposition of carrying out bombings and assassinations targeting security infrastructure, security personnel, and civilians in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and other areas. -Accounts of human rights abuses by both sides persist, with the majority attributed to security forces and military units. Backgrounds
*Syrians have long struggled with many of the same challenges that have bred deep dissatisfaction in other Arab autocracies, including high unemployment, high inflation, limited upward mobility, rampant corruption, lack of political freedoms, and repressive security forces. -These factors have fueled opposition to Syria’s authoritarian government, which has been dominated by the Baath (Renaissance) Party since 1963, and the Al Asad family since 1970. -President Bashar al Asad’s father—Hafiz al Asad—ruled the country from 1970 until his death in 2000. *Since taking office in 2000, President Asad has offered and retracted the prospect of limited political reform, while aligning his government with Iran and non-state actors such as Hamas and Hezbollah in a complex rivalry with the United States and its Arab and non-Arab allies (including Israel).
-Syria’s long-standing partnership with Russia has remained intact and is now the focus of intense diplomatic attention because Russia is one of the regime’s only remaining defenders. -As unrest emerged in other Arab countries in early 2011, Asad and many observers mistakenly believed that Syria’s pervasive police state and the population’s fear of sectarian violence would serve as a bulwark against the outbreak of turmoil. -Limited calls in February 2011 to organize reform protests failed, but the government’s torture of children involved in an isolated incident in the southern town of Dara’a in March provided a decisive spark for the emergence of demonstrations. -The use of force against demonstrators in Dara’a and later in other cities created a corresponding swell in public anger and public participation in protests. -The government organized large counterdemonstrations.
-For much of 2011 and early 2012, a cycle of tension and violence intensified, as President Asad and his government paired limited reform gestures with the use of military force against protestors and armed opposition groups. -Violence was initially limited to certain locations but now has affected most major cities, including Damascus and Aleppo. -Members of different elites may seek compromise with the opposition, but there has been little public dissent from top regime figures. -Defections from the armed forces and from the political and business elites continue, and international sanctions and the disruptions of the conflict are creating hardship for ordinary Syrians.
-As the conflict has dragged on, protestors and opposition fighters have defiantly resisted government crackdowns, in spite of the arrest of thousands of citizens and documented cases of torture and regime-instigated massacres. -The regime argues that opposition violence and abuses make a negotiated solution impossible, and President Asad refuses to leave power.
-In an August 2012 report, the United Nations Human Rights Council commission of inquiry on Syria found: 2 reasonable grounds to believe that Government forces and the Shabbiha( is a term used in the context of the Syrian civil war to describe armed men in civilian clothing who assault protesters against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad.) had committed the crimes against humanity of murder and of torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack, pillaging and destruction of property . -The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial execution and torture, had been perpetrated by organized anti-Government armed groups.
*Latest news from Syria shows that the West is not going to stop, continuing efforts to consolidate the “opposition” and give the military resistance more centralized character, with the division into districts and Action Front of the rebel army. *At the same time, the regular army of Syria increasingly showing signs of weakening. *Actually,the consequences of the fall of the Syrian regime are significantly differentiated for Russia, China and Iran but more vulnerable to such threats is the Islamic Republic, however a detailed consideration of these issues is beyond the scope of this article. -One can only assume that at the critical point, these countries are more prefer to engage in a post-conflict settlement of fragmented Syria, which will allow them to maintain a semblance of respect for their interests and lost regional role and influence, rather than spending more resources to preserve the regime.
*Meanwhile, the consequences of military action in Syria, regardless of the outcome, can have an impact on the situation in Central Asia and in particular in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and then create the conditions for the tension in Xinjiang along the entire borders of these countries.
*Now in Syria, according to public information, in addition to the Free Syrian Army and various local rebel groups there are several number of groups of jihadist orientation, fighting in the ranks of the representatives of the Arab countries, as well as immigrants from Europe and other regions of the world, representing essentially gang mercenaries, under the auspices of the West, Turkey and the Arab monarchies. -But, for the countries of Central Asia, as well as Russia and China, should be of particular concern the so-called group of “Dzhebat al Nusra” (Jabhat al-Nusra=(“The Support Front for the People of Syria”), is a militant group operating in Syria.) or “Al-Nusra front to protect the Levant.”
*According to the latest information, in the ranks of this group, which is considered by many experts as branch of al-Qaeda, involved citizens of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia (natives of the North Caucasus), as well as citizens of the China (ethnic Uighurs). (Rim(8090))