Flashback 2014: A year sealed in war and deaths

Bengaluru, Dec 16: The year 2014 was ridden with civil wars and insurgencies that have led to unconfirmed deaths and unidentified abductions. Whatever it was, the wars will continue to make the damage they have been making.

Syrian Civil War: Also referred as the Syrian Uprising, it is an ongoing armed conflict taking place in Syria. The war began in early 2011, within the context of Arab Spring protests, rooted in protests against President Bashar al-Assad's government, whose forces responded with violent crackdowns. THis gradually took shape of armed rebellion from popular protests after months of military sieges.

The armed opposition comprised various groups that were formed during the course of the conflict. One such was the Free Syrian Army, which was the first to take up arms in 2011, and the Islamic Front formed in 2013. In 2013, Hezbollah entered the war in support of the Syrian army. In the east, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a jihadist militant group originating from Iraq, made very rapid military gains in both Syria and Iraq, eventually conflicting with the other rebels. In July 2014, ISIL controlled a third of Syria's territory and most of its oil and gas production, thus establishing itself as the major opposition force.


Iraqi insurgency: Started just afterthe 2003 invasion and prior to the formation of the new Iraqi government. It started by targetting Coalition armies and took a turn to fight the Iraqi security forces, seen as collaborators with the coalition also became targeted. The war began full-fledged in February 2006 with attacks on American-controlled central Iraqi forces and the military of the Iraqi government.

Although civil war violence decreased in late 2008, the insurgency continued through the United States withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. After the American withdrawal in December 2011, a renewed wave of sectarian and anti-government insurgency has swept Iraq, causing thousands of casualties in 2012. Increasing violence in 2013 raised fears of another civil war. The insurgents in Iraq have been composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the American-led Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) and the post-2003 Iraqi government.


Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has formed the core part of the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. It has widely been referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict". Israel and Palestine have failed to reach a peace agreement, despite general reconciliation of Israel with Egypt and Jordan. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement, and resolving Palestinian claims of a right of return for their refugees.

Boko Haram

Islamist insurgency in Nigeria: Also known as the Sharia Conflict in Nigeria, the war began in 1999 with the formation of Sharia law in several Muslim-majority states in Northern Nigeria, despite the secular Constitution of Nigeria and the disagreeing Christian minority. 2000 onwards, Nigeria was hit by occasional riots between Christians and Muslims that have resulted in thousands of deaths.

The conflict became more violent since 2009, when the Islamist group Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the secular government of Nigeria. By 2013, the annual death toll exceeded 1000, with a further sharp increase occurring in early 2014.

Egyptian Crisis: Started since MOhamed Morsi became the President of Egypt and when he assigned unlimited power to the President, in order to protect the elected constituent assembly from a planned dissolution by judges appointed during the Mubarak-era. The protests were held between the pro-MOrsi and the anti-Morsi supporters which also included mainly liberals, leftists, secularists and Christians.


Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir: The ever-warring nations of India and Pakistan over the ownership of Jammu and Kashmir has gone off limits with the recent spate of ceasefire violations where incessant firing and suicide attacks from both the sides have taken hundreds of lives and destroyed properties.

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