March 15, 2013
The Syrian civil war, also commonly known as the Syrian uprising, is an on-going armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba’ath Party government and those seeking to oust it. A protest movement began on Tuesday 15 March 2011 with a small demonstration in the capital Damascus. Today on Friday, March 15th, 2013 is the date, which marks the 2nd anniversary of the Syrian uprisings
|A Syrian woman holds her dead baby as she looks over at her dead husband’s body (unseen) following an airstrick by regine forces on the town of A’zaz, near the northern restive Syrian city of Aleppo, on August 15, 2012. (AFP Photo/Vedat Xhymshiti)|
Large-scale anti-government protests began, for the first time in many years in Syria, on 18 March, in the cities of Daraa in the south and Baniyas on the coast. Protesters’ demands quickly escalated to include the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end to nearly five decades of Ba’ath Party rule.
On 2 January 2013, the United Nations stated that the war’s death toll had exceeded 60,000; on 12 February, this figure was updated to 70,000. According to various opposition activist groups, between 50,130 and 72,305 people have been killed, of which about half were civilians, but also including 31,170–32,960 armed combatants consisting of both the Syrian Army and rebel forces, up to 2,690 opposition protesters and 1,000 government officials.
By October 2012, up to 28,000 people had been reported missing; including civilians forcibly abducted by government troops or security forces. According to the UN, about 1.2 million Syrians have been displaced within the country. To escape the violence, as many as 1 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.
However, human rights groups report that the Syrian government’s forces have committed the majority of abuses, and UN investigations have concluded that the government’s abuses are the greatest in both gravity and scale.