Thousands dead, millions displaced as Syria enters 7th year of conflict

World Today

March 15th marks the beginning of the seventh year of the Syrian conflict. The United Nations has emphasized it is the “worst manmade disaster the world has seen since WWII”.

Thousands have died. Millions have been displaced and with different armed groups battling terrorism at the same time the situation is more complicated than ever.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports on the ongoing tragedy.

Thousands dead, millions displaced as Syria enters 7th year of conflict

March 15th marks the beginning of the seventh year of the Syrian conflict. The United Nations has emphasized it is the "worst manmade disaster the world has seen since WWII". CGTN's Michal Bardavid reports on the ongoing tragedy.

On the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict there is still no end in sight. The ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey in the beginning of the year is precarious as the Syrian government and the opposition blame each other for violations of the agreement

As fighting continues on battlefields, the people of Syria continue to suffer

In six years of war over 300,000 people have been killed. Over six million have been displaced internally and nearly five million are now living as refugees in neighboring countries.
In Turkey alone over 2.8 million Syrians are registered as refugees These people are now carrying wounds of war as many of them have lost loved ones, witnessed bombings and are away from what they know as home.

But in war the ones who are most affected are the children. UNICEF has announced it’s been the worst year for children.

“For example, we were able to confirm over 650 cases of children who were killed as a result of acts of war inside Syria this year. And 850 children recruited by armed forces and armed groups to fight actively in the conflict,” Genevieve Boutin, Chief of Humanitarian Affairs for UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa Region said.

The fight against ISIL has also complicated the situation in Syria as different parties are currently battling within Syrian territory.

Turkey launched the “Euphrates Shield Operation” aiming to clear its’ border of ISIL but Turkey also wants to remove the YPG – Syrian Kurdish militia from the area as well

“As Turkey, we are not disturbed by the presence of Kurdish brothers in Northern Syria. But we are disturbed by a terrorist organization transforming Northern Syria into a terror state. Declarations of autonomy in these regions have no meaning for us. Turkey will not allow things to happen as a “fait accompli” in Manbij,” Numan Kurtulmus, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister said.

Though Turkey labels the YPG as terrorists, the United States sees them as a key ally in the fight against ISIL.

In March the U.S. deployed troops in and around the Syrian city of Manbij. The Pentagon announced their presence was aimed to deter and reassure a move aimed to prevent their allies, Turkey and the YPG Kurds from fighting each other.

Russia, a key backer of Syrian President Assad, is also a key player in the field as the Russian flag was also seen raised high next to a Syrian flag at a military center close to Manbij.

While Assad was recently quoted as saying he “hoped the war would end in 2017” peace talks between the opposition and the Syrian government do not look promising.

And with Russian – U.S. – Turkish, Syrian and Kurdish forces all within a close distance to each other aiming to destroy ISIL – the battlefield in Syria is even more complicated than ever.


Marking the six-year anniversary of the conflict

CGTN’s Jim Spellman took a look back on how Syria’s war started nearly six years ago. He also looks into how it evolved.