Reports say that more than 40,000 people have died in the fights between President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebel forces that want him out. The Red Cross has called it a state civil war. It all started in March 2011 in a Syrian city called Deraa. People stormed the streets to protest after 15 schoolchildren had been arrested and reportedly tortured for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall. The protests started very calmly, only claiming to release the children and wanting democracy and greater freedom for people in the country of Syria. On March 18, the Syrian army opened fire on protesters, killing four. The next day at a funeral for one of the people who died the day before, the government opened fire again, and killed only one. The people of Syria quickly became angered and pissed off and wanted justice. Soon, the rest of the country heard about what had happened, and they too began to say that same thing, that the government is unjust. The protestors began to take action. They wanted the president, Bashar al-Assad to resign. Bashar al-Assad refused to resign, but claims to change a few things about how the country is run, but the protesters did not believe it one bit. As it may sound like everyone in Syria is against him, there are still plenty of people that support the president and his government. The main force opposing the president is the Free Syrian Army. No armed troops from the UN have been sent in yet because everyone in the UN has not agreed on it. Russia and China have yet to do so also because they have strong ties with the president, Bashar al-Assad. The FSA is growing in experience and strength. It is clear that the president will never have full control over the country. But the question now is that when president Bashar al-Assad is forced out, who will replace him.
For South Africa the Syrian issue is hugely relevant. In February South Africa voted in favor of a Security Council resolution...
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