Human RightsRecent

Is Syria Still on Fire?

By Qasim Swati (United Kingdom)

Once known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ the Syrian Arab Republic (commonly called, Syria) turned into ‘Hell on Earth’, as a result of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, fought between different foreign and domestic forces, opposing both the Government of Syria and even each other and the Ba’athist Syrian Republic, led by Bashar al – Assad (the current President of Syria). Syria has been on fire since the start of the Civil War in Syria since 2011, resulting from the Arab Spring protests that hit several countries, including Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

The various combatant parties, involved in the Syrian Civil War, include the Syrian Government/the Syrian Armed Forces, supported by Russia, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran, and the Syrian rebel groups, encouraged and aided militarily, logistically and politically by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, Qatar, the Netherlands, Israel, France and Britain.

As a result of the present Syrian Civil War, around 371,222 – 570,000 people have been killed, as of 15 March, 2019, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom based information office, aiming at documenting human rights violations in Syria, and established in May, 2006, while as many as estimated 7,600,000 have been displaced internally and about 5,116,097 made refugees (July, 2015/2017), as claimed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The people of Syria have been suffering psychologically, physically, financially, academically, socially, religiously and politically for the last more than eight years, where most of their basic human rights have been abused and violated in different forms, including torture, arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, killings, rape, starvation, and lack of medical, educational and other basic human needs. Many women, girls and even men and boys have been raped and sexually exploited by their perpetrators. A large number of women, girls and children have been kidnapped and taken to where nobody knows about. People have been and are still being tortured and maltreated in front of their friends and relatives in different humiliating ways.

Human life has become worthless and extremely cheap, when compared to meeting the aims, objectives, desires and targets of the various combatant and warring groups, engaged in the ongoing Civil War in Syria. Women and girls are forced to turn into prostitutes or sex workers for their survival, as they do not have anyone to help and support them economically and socially and to meet their other core human needs. This war has seen many innocent people, including journalists and such other people, executed and killed by the combatants and those engaged in fighting during the present Civil War in Syria.

During the war, almost, all sorts of weapons have been used for fighting against each other, including ballistic missiles, anti-tank missiles, fuel-air bombs/Russian thermo-baric weapons/vacuum bombs or aerosol bombs (a kind of explosive, generating a high-temperature explosion by using oxygen from the surrounding air), cluster bombs (a form of ground-launched or air-dropped explosive weapon ejecting or releasing smaller sub-munitions), chemical weapons (like chlorine gas, sulphur mustard/mustard agent and sarin), various types of guns and even the use of traditional weapons, like daggers, fighting knives and such other equipment, etc.

Thus, the use of different weapons has made the Syrian soil as a huge laboratory for testing various forms and kinds of weapons, which can be very helpful and beneficial for weaponry industry, the sellers and manufacturers of weapons and ultimately for the relevant scientists and engineers to test their weapons and improve their performance, quality, standard and capacity in the weaponry market.

However, the innocent people of Syria suffered a lot because of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, which also destroyed most of the infrastructure of the country. So, this is the time for the world community to take a notice of what is going on in Syria and bring an end to the bloodshed we saw in the country, which is a degrading slap on the face of humanity.

Qasim Swati is a freelance journalist, writer and human rights activist, based in the UK, and can be reached at or


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