12 years since the start of the Syrian revolution – Middle East Monitor


Today marks 12 years since the start of the Syrian revolution in which Syrians gathered to demand freedom, political reform and respect for human rights.

More than ten years later, the Syrian regime has tortured thousands of people and many families still do not know the fate of their loved ones.

Reports from human rights organizations and UN bodies have documented the regime’s use of chemical weapons to quash dissent and force regions to reassert control.

Years of war have brought the country to its knees and left it unable to deal with humanitarian crises, such as the devastating earthquakes of February 6 that hit northwestern Syria. The 12 years of conflict had already affected the country’s water system, but the earthquakes knocked Aleppo’s sewage system and water tanks onto roofs, increasing the risk of infectious diseases.

Thousands of cases of cholera have been reported since the earthquakes.

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The World Bank has reported that the earthquake caused approximately $5.1 billion of direct physical damage in Syria including damage to cultural heritage sites in historic areas.

Before the earthquake, over 90 percent of the population depended on aid to survive.

This year, the Syrian economy hit its lowest point since the start of the war, with accelerating inflation, the collapse of the currency and severe fuel shortages.

In particular, on this anniversary, states around the world are starting to normalize relations with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, despite the more than 300,000 people killed in the war.

In February, Egypt’s foreign minister went to Syria in the first visit in ten years. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and the UAE have tried to normalize ties.

Twelve years since the Syrian revolution, there are nearly 5.6 million refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, making it the world’s largest displacement crisis.

Syrian refugees have faced increased hostility, including in Lebanon and Turkey, where politicians have called on them to return to their homeland despite ongoing potential human rights abuses. before them if they returned.

Syrian refugees in Denmark are also at risk of forced return after the government declared certain areas of Syria “safe”.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that Syrians returning to the country face human rights abuses and persecution including kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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