On Thursday, May 15th, 2014 Syria was victim to yet another act of violence when a car bomb crossing the border detonated. The explosion killed seventeen people as well as wounded many more. This is not the only bombing or act of violence that has happened in Syria recently, nor is it likely to be the last. This particular act of violence was between two opposing Islamist groups and unfortunately involved innocent bystanders, including women and children according to witnesses. Violence in Syria against the government and other official entities has been a serious issue for over three years and the current state of severe unrest predicts that it will only continue; the recent car bombing is one act in the midst of many, past and future.
This particular attack is rumored to have been created by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a radical group in cahoots with Al Qaeda. There are two groups which identify with Al Qaeda; only one of those groups is equally supported by Al Qaeda. This death toll adds to the 100,000 others who have been killed by uprising and unrest within Syria. Over six million people have been displaced, some outside and others inside of Syria due to the violence and civil war atmosphere. The unrest within Syria is extremely convoluted, with four well known groups- Free Syrian Army, Al Qaeda inspired rebels, Islamist groups and Kurdish fighters- along with thousands of other random, violent groups.
The basis of the violence is against the Bashar Assad regime, though violent groups have increasingly targeted each other. The economy of Syria has collapsed and the country lacks resources to fully rebuild, such as oil which many of its neighboring countries have much of, but Syria has little. Assad was not a trusted leader from the beginning. Assad’s brother, Bassel Assad, was expected to take over the regime when the two men’s father passed. Syria looked to Assad’s brother and his confidence with favor and great expectation. Many Syrian’s did not view Assad as a leader; they found him weak and unable to rule the country.
The men’s father was preparing Assad’s brother for leadership of Syria and Assad had moved to Europe to study medicine when his brother was killed in a car accident. This accident was a devastating occurrence in Syria and led Assad to rule Syria. Assad had always been fond of the way the Western world operated and attempted to modernize Syria through his rule, which sparked disagreement within the country and stirred the revolution. The people of Syria believed that Assad’s other brother, Maher Assad, should become leader instead. The past three years of violence within Syria, including the recent car bombing stem from the countries dislike of its new leader, and violence seemingly will continue until he is overthrown.
Syria’s strong dislike and lack of trust in its leader is a large reason the country is in a civil war, though like any uprising the details are always much more complicated. The new Assad regime has sparked mass chaos that does not seem to be on the tail end of stopping.
Other killings have happened within the same area of the border as seen on May 15th, as well as mass killings across the rest of the country. Violence in Syria is not expected to stop anytime soon and it is yet to be determined what force, if any will stop violence such as the recent car bombing from continuing.
By Courtney Heitter