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Syria - civil war

Pro-reform protests in Syria.

Summary

Syria has been in a state of emergency since 1963, which its governments justify by its state of war with Israel, and use to suspend its citizens’ constitutional rights. The al-Assad family, which has ruled since 1970, is Alawi Shiite, which is considered heretical by the majority Sunni population.

The 2011 uprising began on March 15th as simultaneous demonstrations occurred in major cities across the country. On April 25th, military forces besieged Daraa, using tanks and snipers, and cutting off water, power, and phone lines. By June 12th the city was reported to be under famine conditions with no supplies being allowed into the area. On June 10th, the Syrian army attacked Jisr-al Shughour in response to an alleged rebel ambush that resulted in the death of 120 policemen. Civilians claim the deaths were executions made by the Syrian army of soldiers refusing to fight. On July 31st, the Syrian army entered the city of Hama, firing on the public, and killing over 100 civilians in what was named the Ramadan Massacre.

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