Destroyed street in Homs, Syria
By Bo yaser (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons - CC-BY-SA 3.0,

, Brief Overview: Seven Years of Syrian Civil War

In March the conflict entered its eighth year of war. It began in 2011 with social and political protests, escalated into a civil war and developed into a proxy war of various actors. Among them, crucial are Iran, Russia, Turkey and increasingly Israel and the United States. Half of the Syrian population have either fled abroad or been displaced within the country.

Expulsion or resettlement of religious and ethnic segments of the population is part of the war strategy of the regime, of Islamist militias, of Kurdish militias, and of Turkish and Iranian forces. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed, injured or have disappeared. There is proof that the Assad Regime and the "Islamic State" have made use of chemical weapons. Further multifaceted war crimes have sown hatred. The World Bank estimates the cost of reconstruction to be nearly 200 billion euros. Although the regime has almost won the civil war, an end to the war is not in sight. Power and influence in Syria belong to those who use military force. Fighting is also taking place in the agreed de-escalation zones.

Local Warring Parties

Regional Powers

Other Regional Actors

International Dimension

Where Germany Is Involved

500,000 Syrians (12 percent of all Syrians who have fled the country) have applied for asylum in Germany. Germany is the largest donor – directly, and via the EU and the United Nations – for the relief of the Syrian refugee disaster in Syria and its neighbouring countries. Berlin is a key location for secular Syrian oppositionists. The Bundeswehr provides military support to the international coalition in the fight against the Islamic State through training missions in Iraq, a Tornado reconnaissance jet out of Jordan and arms deliveries to Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq. Some 100 German citizens have joined the IS as fighters. The Turkish-Kurdish conflict is also reflected in demonstrations by Kurds and Turks in Germany.

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