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Yearbook 2012

Syria. The fighting from 2011 developed during the year into a full-scale civil war with often over 100 casualties daily. The regime under Bashar al-Assad became increasingly crowded and responded with mindless aerial and artillery attacks against the rebels in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), something that severely affected civilians.

2012 Syria

According to countryaah, the regime committed several regular massacres. In the village of Taldou near the town of Hula, the UN reported that 108 residents, including 49 children, were killed May 25 by artillery fire and by the merciless Shabi militia who went door-to-door with knives and firearms. During the year, several reports followed on how the regime's forces tortured and massacred, among other things. children.

Exactly how the control over the country was distributed between the regime and the FSA was difficult to determine as the fighting raged back and forth. But it was clear that there were battles throughout the country, from July even in Damascus and in the three million city Aleppo in the north. In Aleppo, the rebels made progress, but with fighter jets, attack helicopters and armored infantry, the regime took control of the central part of the city. Tough fighting also raged over supply routes to the border with Turkey.

On several occasions, the major cities were shaken by bomb attacks, the most powerful July 18 when the Security Service headquarters in Damascus exploded and four of al-Assad's closest men were killed. The Jihadist group Liwa al-Islam, which is a member of the FSA, assumed responsibility for that act.

At the beginning of the year, al-Assad tried to bring about political reform. In a referendum on February 26, they gave voting clear signs for a new constitution that contained some marginal improvements. The new parliamentary election held on May 7 was between members of al-Assad's Bath Party and Bath Loyal non-party members. After the election, al-Assad appointed Minister of Agriculture Riyad Hijab as new prime minister, but he resigned to the opposition in August and was replaced by Health Minister Wael al-Halqi.

Many other heavy members of the regime also dropped out during the year, often to the FSA. But within the opposition there were also a growing number of jihadists from other Arab countries. At the political level, the dominant opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) in November joined the newly formed National Coalition for Syria's revolutionary and opposition forces. This also included the FSA and said one Sunni Muslim, Alawite, Christian, Kurdish and secular force. The US, EU, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were among those supporting the new coalition.

Otherwise, the world community was closest to action paralysis. Syria's strong armed forces deterred. The Russian Federation, with interests in Syria, provided arms to al-Assad and together with China blocked several UN resolutions aimed at pushing the regime to a ceasefire. In January, the Arab League called home the observer force it had held in place since 2011. The UN appointed a special envoy for Syria, the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was assisted by a UN force with 300 observers. Others became increasingly frustrated and handed over their assignment to veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi in August at the same time as the UN force left Syria, citing that the terms of the mission were not fulfilled. Assessors believed that diplomacy had thus lost its relevance. A large number of countries closed their embassies in Damascus,

In February, a UN commission ruled that the regime's abuse of the population involved crimes against humanity. In December, the UN reported that 59,648 people had been killed since the uprising began in spring 2011. The organization Avaaz reported that 18,000 missing persons were also identified. About 500,000 were estimated to have moved abroad, most to neighboring countries. 2.5 million were internally displaced. Even those who avoided the direct battles struggled with water shortages, power outages, extensive unemployment and large price increases on food and fuel.

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