What is happening in Syria to cause this crisis?
In March of 2011, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad pledged legislative reforms in response to peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian Army (SARG). However, reforms failed to take place, and SARG forces loyal to President Al-Assad began responding to these demonstrations with violence, sparking retaliation from armed opposition groups.
These groups formed an umbrella organization in November of 2012, which the U.S. formally recognized as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people that December. This group — known as the Syrian Coalition (SC) — established the Syrian Interim Government, which opposes the SARG and is based in decentralized locations throughout opposition-held areas of Syria.
President Al-Assad’s attacks have been horrific and devastating. He has launched rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and has even attacked Syrian civilians with chemical weapons. So many innocent men, women, and children have been gassed to death by their own government. The international community found a diplomatic solution to effectively destroy Syria’s capacity to make chemical weapons. However, intense and ongoing violence remains, driving millions to seek refuge outside of the country.