A report by the Associated Press speaks of the beginning of peaceful protests in Syria in 2011 asking for government change turned into one of the cruelest modern wars and left a trail of broken lives among the country’s pre-war population of 23 million. Now half are displaced, nearly half a million dead and many live with permanent scars or have joined militias.
The years of war have left their mark on Dia Hassakeh’s 45-year old face. The Arab fighter in Syrian Democratic Forces has seen his family suffer on the conflict’s many fronts.
In the early days of the conflict, two of his brothers were wounded fighting in the government military against the armed opposition. In November, another brother was killed by the Islamic State group. Now Dia is battling the militants at IS’ last holdout, a speck of territory along the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border called Baghouz.
“Any country that goes through this needs time.”
Kurds, who made of 10 percent of Syria’s pre-war population, have long complained of discrimination and oppression by Damascus, AP added.
The SDF has emerged as the most organized non-state actor from the war. It and its political arm have successfully established facts on the ground that will likely be hard to reverse - such as teaching the Kurdish language in schools and setting up parallel governing institutions and their own economic infrastructure, AP concluded.