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Five Things About The Syrian Conflict That You Should Know

August 28, 2013
The Syrian civil war Hundreds of children were reportedly killed in an alleged chemical attack near Damascus last week

Violence in Syria has claimed tens of thousands of lives, and now war drums are beating after the USA and its key allies have threatened a military intervention. With an intervention expected in days, here are five simple points that will help you understand this complicated and cruel war.1. Where Is Syria?Syria, which has a population of 22.5 million, has been rocked with more than two years of civil conflict that has killed at least 100,000 men, women, and children. The country borders Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. The demographics in Syria are complex. The country hosts several non-Arab ethnic minorities, with the largest of those being  the Kurds (constituting nearly 9 percent of the population). In religion, Sunnis account for nearly 60 percent of the population, while 13 percent are Shiites (including Alawites), 10 percent are Christian,  and three percent are Druze.2. Who Is Bashar Al-Assad?Bashar Hafez Al-Assad became President of Syria in 2000 after his father, Hafez Al-Assad, died. The Assad family has governed Syria since 1971 when Bashar’s father came to power.The Al-Assad family are Alawites (part of Shiite Islam), and Bashar has often been accused of…

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