The Syrian Civil War.
The civil war in Syria began as an uprising by the Syrian people against the Government of Syria and its leader, President Bashar al-Assad.
Most people are totally unaware that it was a mischievous prank by adolescent schoolchildren that lit the fuse that set a country ablaze.
The Boy who Started the Syrian War
A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria 10 years ago turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left half a million people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries.
BBC: Why has the Syrian war lasted 11 years?
Since then, many groups have joined the fighting, with many fighting each other.
These groups include the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Kurdish Rebel Fighters, so-called Islamic State, Jabhat Fath al-Sham, Hezbollah and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
International involvement has shaped the course of the conflict, too.
Russia and Iran have backed the Syrian government. At the same time, the opposition has been supported by Turkey, several Western powers and some Gulf Arab states.
Turkish-backed forces in the northwest, are adamant that any peace agreement involves transitioning away from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This is something that government-supporting Russia and Iran will be reluctant to consider.
President Bashar al-Assad controls the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), which has fought alongside Hezbollah and numerous Shiʿi militias. He has received foreign support from Russia and Iran.
Insurgent forces include the Southern Front, the Kurdish-dominant Syrian Democratic Forces, and a coalition of SAA defectors. These groups have been supported by Western powers such as the United States and Germany. Regional support comes from Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
Islamist militant organizations such as ISIL and Hayʾat Taḥrīr al-Shām oppose both of the above sides, making this at least a 3 sided fight.
Syrian Civil War Armed Forces Strength.
Syria has the largest number of fighters involved in the Syrian Civil War, with Iran (15,000) appearing to be next, followed by Turkey (6,000).
The United States, with just 600 troops to fight ISIL (ISIS), appears as the smallest group.
142,000 Syrian Armed Forces: (2019)
80,000 National Defense Force:
60,000–75,000 SDF (2017 est.)
40,000–70,000 Syrian Islamic Front: (2014)
20,000–32,000 Free Syrian Army: (2013)
20,000–30,000 Tahrir al-Sham: (2018)
20,000–30,000 YPG & YPJ: (2017 est.)
18,000–20,000+ Ahrar al-Sham: (March 2017)
12,500 Other groups: (2015)
10,000–20,000 Liwa Fatemiyoun: (2018)
10,000+ Islamic State: (2022)
10,000+ SDF Military Councils:
10,000+ Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas: (2013)
8,000 General Security Directorate:
7,000 Ba’ath Brigades:
4,000–8,000 Liwa Al-Quds:
4,000–8,000 Turkish Armed Forces
2,000–4,000 Al-Sanadid Forces: (2017 est.)
1,000 Syriac Military Council (MFS): (2017 est.)
600 United States Armed Forces:
13.1 - 741,715