Case Study Of Syria Since 2011 Case Study

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Case Study Of Syria Since 2011 Assignment

Introduction Of Case Study Of Syria Since 2011 Case Study

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The prolonged conflict in Syria is regarded as one of the largest civil displacement crises in the whole world. The civilians and other vulnerable population have to face a huge crisis in terms of social, economic as well as physical aspects. The tension and war have affected the health as well as the environment and surroundings which causes great impact in the overall functioning of the Syrian society. Here in this case study a detailed discussion has been done over the various Violent Non-State Actors (VNSA) acting in Syria and its relationship with the Syrian government. The socio-economic condition of the country has been greatly hit by the ongoing war which has caused several implications of the life of the people as well as on their health. Different group have different opinion and views in order to take control, however it is important to focus over the economic development and to bring peace in the life of people inhabiting there.

Overview of the situation

The civil war in Syria is regarded as one of the biggest crises of all time in case of loss of life, wealth as well as impact over the social and cultural aspects of the nation. The conflict has caused severe damage resulting infrastructure destruction as well as loss of life. It has been estimated that in 2018 the GDP OF Syria is reduced to 50% from the level in 2010. The war has impacted over the trade and exports of goods as well. From various studies and resources, it has been found that the Syrian trade decreases from $8.7 billion to $0.7 billion from the year 2010-2018. There is a decrease in the trade of 92% which has led to serious economic crisis over the country (Heydemann, 2018.). The inefficiency of the government, political repression as well as corruption and uneven economy has led to the devastating crisis and civil war in Syria. The differences and discrete ideologies of the people cause huge damage of lives and property. The chaos allowed the extremist group like al Qaeda and ISIS to take almost 70% control of the territory that makes living nightmare to the lives of many people.

Along with the economic impact, the social, cultural and environmental impact has been huge caused by the prolonged civil war. The inefficiency in taking strict measures as well as corruption has made it more difficult to bring change and reforms in the society. The women and other weaker sections of the population were mostly affected and were deprived of basic needs and amenities like health care and education (Tateyama, 2018). The increase in rate of unemployment and severe drought generated more frustration among the people that created a tension and anger over the government. Therefore, the protest began against the government that grows bigger and took into civil war. Many Violent Non-State Actors are also operating that has led to increase the intensity of war along with the various extremist groups. Therefore leading to a prolonged civil war that affected the overall condition and growth of the country.

Violent Non-State Actors (VNSAs) in Syria

Prominent VNSAs in Syria

The most prominent VNSAs that are present in Syria are the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the YPG groups. These groups are different in various ways and both form differently in Syria.

Violent Non-State Actors World wide

Violent Non-State Actors World wide

(Source:, 2022)

Type of the VNSAs in Syria

The two VNSAs that are prominent in Syria are different from each other. There are both states as well as non-state fighters in these groups. The state fighters join ISIS and fight as their members who are from these regions. On the other hand, the non-state fighters join from outside countries

(Hatahet et al. 2019,p. 15). Despite their differences, one common element present between these groups is the presence of violent intentions for both groups in order to fulfill their objectives.


ISIS initially was a part of Al Qaeda and it separated from the original group in the year 2014. This group is known by various names such as the Islamic State. This group follows the doctrine of Salafi Jihadists. The members of this group belong to the Sunni group of Muslims. The views of ISIS and Al Qaeda differentiated as the AL Qaeda visions were based on the visions of Bin Laden when ISIS had different views.

After being separated from the Al Qaeda group of terrorists the ISIS group formed an army of their own that consisted of more than 30,000 people in it. These people were from both the state and non-state. Initially, the goals of ISIS were to build control over the territories that fall under Iraq as well as Syria. However, the greater intent of this terrorist group was the formation of a more superior army in future. The army would possess the aim of reconstructing the mark of Islam across the globe. Moreover, they also took on the mission to fight against the incidents that were meant to suppress the Muslim population (Gan et al. 2019, p. 205). The intentions of this group varied from their former Al Qaeda group and as differentiating ideologies this group aimed at taking control over a large part in both Iraq as well as Syria. After the completion of the formation of their large army, they were also able to achieve this goal. The actual territory covered under their control spread beyond the territories in Iraq and Syria.

Despite the control over various territories, the roots of ISIS are embedded in the building of states. In order to expand their control over different territories, Jihad is practiced in this group. The type of Jihad practiced in this group is offensive in nature. Through the acts of Jihad, the members of this group were intent on taking control of various territories and then keeping control of these groups. The present leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The leader of the group upon becoming the Caliph asked for the pledges to state their loyalty towards Islam from all the people who are Muslims. Moreover, the leader also declared that death shall be offered to those not providing their Pledges. At present, Al Queda and ISIS have become the largest rivals of each other.


This group incorporated the non-state fighters mainly. The foreign fighters taking place in the way of Syria was considered to be an obsolete and old concept (Almohammad, 2018, p. 20). However, after the breakout in Syria many people from foreign nations joined the battle.

The members of ISIS belonged to the Sunni groups of Muslims while the other groups of Muslims were left behind. The Muslim fighters from the Siyah and other groups joined the YPG groups. The fighters who joined the YPG groups go through a journey that is mainly differentiated into three different phases by the YPG groups. Firstly, they influence the Muslims from foreign countries to join the armies of the YPG group to fight along with them. These fighters then joined the fight in Syria and during the second phase, they were provided with their specific roles in the fight. The last phase includes their return after achieving their objectives in the war in Syria also they were provided with various roles after the completion of the battles.

Sources of Information about the VNSAs in Syria

Different sources provide pieces of information about the VNSAs operational in Syria. As mentioned before there are mainly two prominent VNSAs that are operational in Syria and these are ISIS and the YPG group.

Number of terrorist attacks

 Number of terrorist attacks

(Source:, 2022)

The pieces of information about ISIS were gathered from the online article by Dallas P. (2019), which is based on the different VNSA groups. This article provided brief information about ISIS and its origins as well as operational tactics. On the other hand, brief information on the YPG group has been gathered from the journal published by Hatahet et al. (2019), which is based on the YPG fighters and their origin in Syria. This journal also provided brief pieces of information about the YPG fighters fighting in Syria. Besides these, the book published by Oktav et al. (2018), about the VNSAs in Syria and their relations with the Civil was of Syria have also been consulted.

Difficulties in defining the VNSA groups of Syria

The difficulties in defining the VNSA groups operating in Syria occur due to various differences between them. Firstly, ISIS which is one of the most prominent VNSA of Syria is meant to be included with only the State fighters in them. However, in many cases, fighters from other states such as Iran are also noticed to be taking part in the battles fought by the ISIS group.

On the other hand, the differences between the type of objectives possessed by the ISIS and YPG groups also make it difficult to understand these VNSA groups that are operational in Syria. Moreover, there are also religious and ethnic differences present among the VNSA groups and these elements also make it difficult in defining them clearly (Azevedo, 2020, p. 43). In order to understand and define these groups properly, a good idea is required about the different religious groups of the Muslims, different objectives of these groups, and many more.

Differences between the VNSAs of Syria

The two Prominent VNSAs that are present within Syria differ greatly in various aspects. According to ISIS, the administrative views are aimed at implementing extreme views of the religion within the state. On the other hand, the YPG groups are aimed at the development of a model that is oriented toward the society and the economy of the country. Also, this model would provide a zone to the people that are safe from the extreme views possessed by ISIS.

The zone that was under the control of the YPG at the city of Rojava situated in the Northern part of Syria had gone through expansion with the assistance from the airstrikes performed by the US. these expansions took place at the cost of the lives of the soldiers of ISIS.

There are vast differences present between the ways in which these two groups provide solutions to the issues occurring at the No-go zones that are common for both of them. ISIS mainly aims at infiltrating lands through methods such as bribing the local authorities and other processes. On the other hand, the YPG groups infiltrate the lands with a more attacking approach by making a direct approach to the lands.

The techniques of controlling the zones that are pre-territorial in nature are also different for these groups (Oktav et al. 2018, p. 40). ISIS aims at bringing all the areas that belong to the Sunni people from Syria and Iraq under a banner that will be common for both. On the other hand, YPG incorporates an approach of self-identification of the zones that are filled with a large number of Kurds.

Relationship with the VNSAs of Syria with the Government

The relationship of the Government of Syria with that of the VNSAs lies within various types of funding made by the government. On the other hand, the government is provided with various administrative advantages by these groups in different zones of the country over both Sunni and Shiah Muslim people.


There are various Violent Non-State Actors (VNSA) are operating around the world. However, the most prominent VNSAs that are operational within Syria are ISIS and the YPG. While, ISIS is formed by separating from their previous group Al Quaeda, on the other hand, the YPG include the formation of groups incorporating foreign fighters mainly of Kurdish origin merging with the state fighters. The principles, goals, and actions taken by these VNSAs in Syria greatly vary in different elements. Firstly, ISIS is mostly dependent on its aspect of Religion and possesses extremist views of implementing it. On the other hand, the views of the YPG group are more focused on the people rather than the religion. They aim at formulating a zone that would be safe for the people to live in. Moreover, they aim at making the zones free from any harmful economic as well as social effects that are prevalent within Syria. Moreover, the inclusion criteria of the Muslim groups of these VNSAs also vary. ISIS incorporates Sunni Muslims and YPG incorporates Shiah Muslims and Kurdish people.

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