a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Syrian civil war

Years: 2011-2017
Battle deaths: 270,553 [1]
Non-state conflict, battle-deaths: 3,307 [3]
Onesided violence: 4,834 [2]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Syria, Russia, Turkey, Iran

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2018-07-29 00:26:47

The Syrian civil war, also referred to as the Syrian uprising, is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between the government of Syria and numerous other parties. The conflict began on 15 March 2011 with nationwide demonstrations as part of the wider protest movement known as the Arab Spring. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the end to nearly five decades of secular Ba’ath Party rule. It is the deadliest war in the world at the moment and has displaced more millions of syrians of wich many have fled to camps in neighbouring states and to Europe.


The Syrian government is supported by Russian forces, most notably its airforce, Iranian special forces and the Lebanese Hizbollah militia.

Numerous rebel groups and militias have been trying to oust the government since 2012, most notably the Free Syrian Army, and the islamist al-Qaeda affiliated militia Jabhat Fatah li-al-Sham. These groups form local coalitions and occasionally clash with each other. They control large territories outside of the main Syrian cities.

The SDF, Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance between the YPG, Kurdish people's defence forces, and several arab militias control a large territory along Syria's northern border to Turkey. SDF has been a forceful part in the fight against IS and recieves some support from the US.

Turkey in alliance with factions of the Free Syrian Army entered Syrian territory in 2015 and controls a large swath of territory from the Turkish border southwards.

The Islamic State (IS or ISIL, ISIS, Da'esh) controls a number of towns and villages along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers as well as the deserts south of the Euphrates. The group expanded its territory quickly in 2014 from the Turkish border to the north, Palmyra in the west, Raqqa in the center and down to the Iraqi border but has since been ousted from most of its territory in the north by the Syrian army with Russian support, the SDF, YPG and Turkish-FSA alliance with air support from a coalition headed by the US. In the beginning of June these forces started its campaign to retake Raqqa from IS.


Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved [dat]


Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset v. 5-2017 (link) (1989-2017) #299 #13042 #13604 #13809
Low: 96,395 High: 281,631

[2] UCDP One-sided Violence Dataset v. 1.4-2017 (link) including actors: / Government of Syria / Syrian insurgents / PYD
Low: 4,459 High: 5,472

[3] UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset v. 2.5-2017 (link) including dyads: / Opponents of al-Assad vs Supporters of al-Assad / Ghuraba al-Sham, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs PYD / FSA, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs PYD / Hezbollah vs Jabhat Fateh al-Sham / FSA, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs Jabhat al-Akrad / FSA vs PYD / FSA, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Mish'al at Tammu Brigade vs PYD / IS, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs PYD / Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs SRF / FSA, IS vs PYD / Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam vs Hezbollah / Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam vs LAFA / IS, Islamic Front, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs PYD / Harkat Hazm vs Jabhat Fateh al-Sham / Ahrar al-Sham, Furqan Brigades, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Yarmouk Army vs Jaysh al-Jihad (Saraya al- Jihad) / Fatah Halab, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs SDF / Fatah Halab vs SDF / Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs Shohadaa al-Yarmouk / Ahrar al-Sham vs Liwa al-Aqsa / Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham vs SDF / Jaysh al-Islam, Jaysh Asoud al-Sharqiya, Martyr Lieutenant Ahmed Abdou Brigades, Rahman Corps vs Tahrir al- Sham Army / Hawar Kilis Operations Room vs SDF / Hezbollah vs Tahrir al-Sham / Liwa al-Aqsa vs Tahrir al-Sham / Nour al-Din al-Zenki vs Tahrir al-Sham / Jaysh al-Islam vs Rahman Corps, Tahrir al-Sham / Ahrar al-Sham vs Tahrir al-Sham / Operations Room Combating Daesh, Shuhada al-Wadi militia vs Anas al-Dabbashi Brigade, Brigade 48
Low: 3,224 High: 3,561

NOTE! Onesided violence committed by IS against civilians 2013-2015 has been estimated from country-specific data from UCDP rather than its one-sided violence dataset.

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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