The Syrian Conflict is a big deal. It’s about half world war and half proxy war, but we’re making progress with the Cessation, right?

A cessation means the sides stop shooting at each other, but doesn’t necessarily mean that any more steps will be taken. It ensures there will be humanitarian aid. Syrian President Assad and the rebels have the opportunity to talk peace. This is what the US and Russia have been pushing for. We’re making progress, right?

We aren’t because the conflict is more than the civil war. There are actually a dozen or so Syrian rebels groups with different goals in mind. The Cessation is only between one group and the Syrian government though. ISIS is the big factor here. Originally started as a group kicked out of the Taliban for being too extreme, they expanded and grew in 2011 when civil war broke out. They collected gigantic swaths of land and set up a funding network. They hate everyone and do not want peace talks

ISIS is the reason the US is involved in the combat, however, the US being involved complicates it. Assad allegedly committed war crimes the US wants answered for. The US has one major problem though; Assad is backed by Russia.

Russia conducts bombings on ISIS in areas we can’t reach. They also buy oil from Assad, and therefore want to keep him in office. However, Russia is in a cold war with Turkey. Turkey shot down one of Russia’s planes in restricted air zone, leading to more tension.

Turkey and the Kurds have a decades long conflict about ethnicity. The Kurds view themselves as a separate country and Turkey views them to be a terrorist organization. The Kurds are the most successful group in combating ISIS. The US wants to keep the Kurds as ground troops, but the presence of the Kurds puts pressure on Turkey which puts pressure on Russia which puts pressure on Assad.

There are far more factors than just the Syrian government and rebels. The cessation gets people aid, which is good. 

However, more steps need to be taken. Even assuming we instantly killed every ISIS member in one night the conflict would still be going. Decades of work are needed to undo everything that’s been done in the last five years. 

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