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Yearbook 2013

Syria. According to Countryaah, the civil war in Syria escalated. About 120,000 people, including more than 11,000 children, had been killed in violence since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and his regime erupted in the spring of 2011. At least two million Syrians were fleeing from outside the country, the vast majority in neighboring countries, and 4, 5 million were internally displaced. About half of the refugees were children, most of them ten years or younger. Among those who moved the country, according to a report, were also 15,000 doctors. A large part of the country's health care had been eliminated and diseases such as measles, typhoid and hepatitis A ravaged. Polio also erupted.

2013 Syria

According to an independent UN commission, the regime and its militias were guilty of extensive war crimes in the form of, for example. indiscriminate grenade shooting, extrajudicial executions, torture and sexual violence. The rebels also committed more and more war crimes.

In spring and summer, increasingly frequent reports came that chemical weapons had been used, among other things. in and near Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. On August 21, three areas in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta were fired with artillery robots loaded with nerve gas sarin. Men, women and children lost their breath, became scared, lost sight, became nauseous and in many cases unconscious to soon perish. The number of people killed was unclear, but according to US government sources, it involved more than 1,400 people, including at least 426 children.

UN inspectors, led by the Swedish Åke Sellström, secured samples from survivors, land and weapons residues and within a few weeks were able to confirm the use of sarin and also ascertain what type of robots were used, among other things. a Russian-made. Whoever relieved them did not speak out about the UN, but judges found that these weapons had only been observed in the regime's hands at the same time as the robotic paths pointed in the direction of regime controlled territory. Syria is suspected of possessing over 1,000 tonnes of raw material for the nerve gases sarin, mustard gas and VX.

The nuclear weapons attack became the starting point for rapid diplomatic efforts. The United States threatened with attacks against the regime, and US Secretary of State John Kerry said on September 9 that the only way for al-Assad to avoid an attack was to put all chemical weapons under international control within a week. The statement, which was generally perceived as a gunshot, was captured by the Russian Federation which within a few hours prompted Syria to accept the play. The United States and the Russian Federation presented a joint proposal on how Syria should be deprived of its nuclear weapons capabilities.

The proposal resulted in a binding UN declaration unanimously adopted by the Security Council on 28 September. The declaration stated that Syria must dispose of all chemical weapons and give the weapons inspectors unrestricted access to all suspected facilities. Inspectors from OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) already reported on October 31 that all Syrian chemical weapons production equipment had been destroyed. By the end of mid-2014, the weapons themselves would also have been eliminated.

In the field, the successes achieved by the rebels during the first two years of the uprising were partially broken. From April, Shiite Hizbullahs from Lebanon came to play an increasingly important role, and with their support in June, the regime side returned to the strategically located city of Qusair near the Lebanese border, and in December took the important highway between Damascus and Homs. The opposition, which was estimated to include 100,000 people in a thousand different groups, became increasingly fragmented. For example, jihadists in the al-Qaeda-related ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) hit on several occasions with groups within the Western-backed FSA (Free Syrian Army), among others. in the cities of ar-Raqqa and Azaz in the north. ar-Raqqa was held in December by ISIS and thereby classified as the world's largest al-Qaeda controlled city.

It became more and more obvious that Syria was a battlefield in a battle between foreign powers. al-Assad and his militia groups, deeply rooted in the Alawite clan that is close to Shia Islam, received support from Hizbullah, Iran and the ever-faithful Russian Federation. The various rebel groups were supported by Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The US, UK and France also supported the US with money, supplies, military education or weapons, but the US and Britain stepped down this support in December to avoid it falling into the hands of jihadists.

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