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[Today’s Prayer] ‘Forgotten War’ Syrian Civil War marks 13 years... deaths exceed 500,000

The Syrian civil war marks its 13th anniversary on the 15th (local time).

The reason that a solution to the Syrian civil war has been challenging to find for more than 10 years is due to the competitive intervention of foreign powers such as the United States, Russia, Iran, and Turkiye, and the interests of internal parties which are so complex that it is difficult to distinguish between faction and faction.

Although it is the epicenter of the large-scale refugee crisis that shook Europe, it is gradually becoming a forgotten war as the civil war has prolonged and the international community's attention has been stolen by the ensuing civil war in Yemen and the recent wars that broke out in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the lives of the Syrian people cannot break loose from the severe crisis.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a human rights group, on the 14th (local time), one day before the 13th anniversary of the outbreak of the civil war, more than 507,000 people were counted as dead in the civil war as of that day. The dead included more than 164,000 civilians, including more than 15,000 women and 25,000 children.

On the 11th, the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a report that it was an "unprecedented humanitarian crisis," adding, "More than 90 percent of Syrians are living in poverty, the economy has collapsed, and illegal activities are on the rise, encouraging looting by soldiers and militias."

The Syrian civil war began on March 15, 2011 when the Arab Spring swept the Middle East, and the Bashar al-Assad regime harshly suppressed anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of the regime amid chaos and economic crisis.

In the early stages of the civil war, the anti-government camp based in the northwest had the upper hand over the government forces, backed by support from the United States and outnumbering them.

However, the Assad regime turned the tide and regained much of its territory with the help of Iran and Russia.

The dynamic of the conflict increased due to the intervention of neighboring powers, and in 2014, the Sunni extremist terrorist organization Islamic State (IS) launched itself in Syria and Iraq, further complicating the civil war.

In addition, security in Syria worsened as Turkiye launched airstrikes and engaged in combat against the Kurdish separatist group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Syria under the pretext of countering terrorism. These Kurdish militants were receiving support from the U.S. military.

A ceasefire was declared in 2020 through the mediation of Russia and Turkiye, but it was not effective.

Since the war between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas began in October last year, clashes between the Israeli military and pro-Iranian forces have continued in Syria.

UN's special envoy for Syria, Jair Pedersen, pushed for peace talks to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, but Russia and the Syrian government rejected it last month, AFP reported.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria emphasized, “Since October of last year, the largest armed conflict has occurred in Syria in four years,” and “Syria (as well as the Gaza Strip) is in dire need of a ceasefire.”


Source: Yonhap News

35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:35,39-40)

God, it has already been 13 years since the Syrian civil war broke out, and even as the international community is gradually forgetting their distress, we hear that the souls of Syria are still suffering in despair.

Although the world is forgetting all the groans and pains of the Syrian people who are suffering from the conflict between countries and various forces, we believe that our Lord God has not forgotten them even for a moment and is shedding tears for them.

Lord, please pay attention to the souls of Syria who are in distress and thirsty for the truth amid the endless civil war, and grant them the name of Jesus, the bread of life.

Especially during Ramadan, as the Syrians fast and pray wandering about without knowing where to go, exhausted by unresponsive idols, we earnestly pray that you would not lose even a single Syrian soul and that you would bring them back to life on the last day.

May the amazing gospel of the kingdom of Lord Jesus, who gives eternal life to all who believe in his name, fully cover Syria during this Ramadan, and may the work of the Holy Spirit come upon them to move them from death to life forever!

In this way, may the Syrian people rise up as a nation of priests for all nations, leading 2 billion Muslims around the world to the Lord, with their hope only in the eternal kingdom of God, not in the kingdom of this earth!


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