Syrian civil war

A multi-sided internal conflict fought between those supportive of Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to the ruling regime. The civil war began as part of a broader narrative concerning the Arab Spring. The main division is between the Syrian Armed Forces and its allies (such as Russia) and opposition forces. The latter consists of Sunni forces, Salafi jihadists, Kurds and ISIL. The Syrian civil war is a particularly complex conflict due to the potential consequences for neighbouring states (notably an influx of refugees and the potential for terrorist groups to fill a power vacuum). For instance, fighting spilled over into Lebanon. It has even been argued that the Syrian president (with the endorsement of Putin) is deliberately destabilising Europe in terms of housing refugees from the war-torn region.