On September 2nd, 2015, the world woke up to the beginning of the new evil, the Syrian crisis, and the appalling photograph of a dead toddler lying on a beach in Turkey. The child Aylan Kurdi was three years old. Aylan, his mother, and his brother drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with his parents, he escaped Syria and fled to Europe after Canada rejected their refugee application.
The family was among thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn country to nearby Europe. The chilling picture has caused global outrage and intense international attention to migration caused by war, political instability, and a complete breakdown of law and order in their native land.
The Syrian Crisis is an ongoing civil war in Syria that began in the spring of 2011 (The Arab Spring) with widespread protests against then-president Bashar Al-Assad, calling for political prisoners’ release. The protests were initially peaceful.
However, the protesters were subjected to violent crackdowns by government forces, including the National Security Force. Turning a deaf ear to the dissenter’s demands, they were subjected to detention, torture, and blatant violation of human rights.
The violent crackdowns led to the quick escalation of protests, and in no time, the rebels started fighting back against the administration.
The dissenters loosely organized themselves into various factions like the Syrian National Council (exiled Syrians), Free Syrian Army (Syrian military defectors), Islamic Front, etc. Months of in-fighting and bloody conflicts have turned the protests into a full-grown homicidal war. More than four years after it began, the civil war killed over 220,000 people.
According to the U.N, more than 7.8 million people have been internally displaced during the Syrian Crisis. Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey are hosting a majority of the refugees. While pressure mounts on these countries to sustain the influx of displaced people, thousands of Syrians are undertaking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, hoping for a better life and future.
8 Facts About the Syrian Crisis
1. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq hold 95 percent (3.8 mi) of refugees from Syria.
Lebanon hosts 1.1 mi refugees (26% of the country’s population)
Jordan hosts 618,615 refugees
Turkey hosts 1.6 mi refugees (2.4% of its population)
Iraq hosts 225,373 refugees (0.6% of its population)
Egypt hosts 142,543 refugees (0.17% of its population)
Note: Census based on refugees registered with United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
2. The number of deaths amounts to more than 190,000.
3. 10.8 mi are in urgent need of humanitarian aid inside Syria.
4. 378,684 people (in the 5 central host countries) urgently need resettlement.
5. Six Gulf Countries (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain), Japan, Russia, Singapore, and South Korea have offered zero resettlement places.
6. Germany has assured 35,000 places for Syrian refugees through its humanitarian admission program.
7. Germany and Sweden have together received more than 95,500 new Syrian asylum applications in the last three years (64% of all such applications in the European Union)
8. The other 26 European Nations have promised a paltry 5105 resettlement places (0.13 % of the refugees in the five central host countries)
“The images from this massacre are sickening. Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath.
A father clutching onto his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off limits – a crime against humanity.”