The entry of Russia into Syria has added another dimension to the ongoing battle in the war ravaged nation. None would have expected that in 2011 that a peaceful uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad would turn so bloody.
Statistics give a telling picture of the ongoing battle in which 2.5 people have been killed since violence broke out.
The Americans and the Russians are locked in a war of words. President of the United States of America, Barack Obama has frowned upon Russia's entry. However, Russia continues to bomb strongholds of the ISIS which has come as a welcome relief for Assad.
With Russia now in the picture, there are 8 nations actively involved in the battle at Syria. What role are each of these nations playing in Syria. Let us find out.
United States of America:
The international coalition in Syria is being led by the USA. The US has conducted several air strikes in Syria claiming that it has been targeting the ISIS. However, there are reports that the US has also provided assistance to those targeting Assad.
However, the support such as providing arms and training to the rebel groups which are considered to be more moderate in nature.
However, the US strategy of aiding and assisting the more moderate rebels has not yielded much result. The fanatics have clearly outnumbered them thus putting a question mark on this decision by the US.
Russia is a new entrant into Syria. Faced with opposition from the international coalition, Russia has been carrying out a series of bombings against the ISIS. It has already destroyed several of the outfit's strongholds.
However, there is criticism against Russia and it is said that they are not just targeting the ISIS, but any rebellion big or small against Assad.
The war by Russia in Syria is not against the ISIS, but in favour of Assad is what the Americans argue.
Saudi Arabia's war in Syria is a complex one. Initially Saudi Arabia had complained that the US has not been acting against Assad.
The problem for Saudi Arabia is that Assad has found Iran as an ally in this war against his rebels. Saudi Arabia has currently with the US coalition in Syria and has provided airplanes as well.
When Assad began losing control in Syria due to the rebels, he dialed Iran which was ready to help him. Iran has played a vital role in backing Assad and has provided him with funding, aid and weapons.
The presence of Iran has been there since 2012 in the form of the Iran backed Hezbollah militia. In addition this there has been a large presence of military advisors from Iran in Syria.
Turkey and Qatar:
Turkey only joined the bombing programme in Syria along with the US two months back. At first it was reluctant to allow its airspace to be occupied by the Americans.
Qatar on the other hand, has provided funding to several Syrian rebel groups. Qatar also houses the US command centre which has been used to coordinate strikes against the ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.
However, the role of Qatar has largely been to negotiate with the Al Nusra Front which had taken several persons hostage.
France and Britain:
The French have played a limited role in Syria. It was in fact one of the first countries to launch an airstrike against the ISIS. It however, has stayed away from any coalition operation as it did not want to seem helping Assad.
Britain on the other hand, has restricted its role to fight against the ISIS. In the British Parliament, it voted against action on the rebels. It is part of the International Coalition which targets only the ISIS. It even launched a drone strike in Syria and justified it by saying that it was taking action against those who were targeting its nationals.