The Syrian crisis began in early 2011 when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began a brutal crackdown on growing peaceful protests throughout the country. With the use of tanks, attack helicopters and artillery against protesters and the torture and execution of children, protests spread and opposition groups took up arms.
The attacks and counter-attacks escalated into a full-fledged civil war between the Assad regime with allied militias and an array of opposition groups. The spread of the Islamist extremist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) into Syria has added another dangerous element increasing atrocities and threatening genocide against the Yazidi and other minority groups.
Since March 2011 when the conflict began
2,000+ Barrel Bombs
Filled with metal shards dropped on civilians
4 Million Refugees
One in every six Syrians has fled the country
Growing Conflict and Atrocities
The Syrian conflict is already the source of more displacement than any other conflict in the world and the numbers of displaced continues to grow. The Syrian regime continues to bomb civilian areas and to use barrel bombs in violation of international law.
A report commissioned by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria, cites that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial killings and torture, and gross violations of international human rights, including unlawful killing, attacks against civilians and acts of sexual violence, have been committed. Opposition groups are deeply divided and many have also committed grave atrocities.
On August 21, 2013, the crisis took on a dangerous new dimension with a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime that killed over 1,400 people, according to a U.S. intelligence report.
Even though the Syrian government is responsible for the vast majority of deaths in Syria, the spread of ISIS added a new dimension including the threat of genocide of the Yazidi and other minority groups. ISIS is estimated to have killed more than 4,500 people, including civilians, often in mass executions, and has taken hundreds of women as sex slaves.
President Obama, Accept More Syrian Refugees
After four years of war and living under the constant threat of mass atrocities and genocide, there are two things the Syrian people need: hope and compassion. We can offer that.
The United States has only accepted 1,600 Syrians in the past four years. And while President Obama has offered to increase that number to 10,000, the scale of the crisis demands a number ten times that.
Take action. Urge President Obama to increase the number of Syrian refugees accepted into the United States and work to make sure that relief efforts are fully funded.
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