As the west contemplates military action in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, Russia has warned the US that air strikes risk starting a new war. That could lead to an even greater spike in the number of displaced Syrians, 13 million of whom are now scattered all over the world.
That’s according to a Pew Research Center analysis published in January. It found that over 6 million Syrians are displaced within their own country and they account for 49 percent of all Syrians displaced worldwide. Turkey has the second highest population with 3.4 million displaced people currently living there.
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Another million of them have made the long and dangerous journey to Europe. Germany hosts most of them with 530,000, followed by Sweden with 110,000. Another 54,000 Syrians live in Canada while 33,000 are in the United States.
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The Syrian Civil War – Statistics & facts
The Syrian civil war is an on-going armed conflict, fought primarily between the Syrian government, led by the president Bashar al-Assad, and multiple opposing factions, including the Islamic State. Western countries have avoided being directly involved; however, since 2014, the United States and the Allied forces have been conducting airstrikes in Syria to fight Islamic extremists. In 2015, Russia entered the war by military backing the Syrian government. As a result, the conflict has become increasingly violent and devastating for the Syrian people. It is estimated that there have been almost 207,000 civilian casualties since the beginning of the conflict in 2011; and about 25,000 of them were children.
In addition to the humanitarian catastrophe, the Syria civil war continues to take a serious toll on the country’s economy. The Syrian people, who have survived the ongoing bloodshed, are faced with homelessness, as about 31 percent of housing units have been either damaged or destroyed. It is estimated that the economic loss due to the civil war to the housing sector is somewhere between 22.8 and 28 billion U.S. dollars. As a consequence, the Syrian civil war has resulted in one of the largest refugee crisis of our time. More than 6 million people have been internally displaced, and more have been forced to flee the war-torn country.
In hope for better future prospects, many Syrians migrate to Europe, facing life threatening danger on their way. The neighboring country, Turkey, was hosting the majority of Syrian refugees in 2016; however, for many of them, it is only a temporary shelter, en-route to other destinations. The majority of Syrians wish to reach Germany due to its ‘welcoming culture’ toward refugees and liberal asylum policy. In 2016, about 100,527 Syrians were seeking asylum in Germany, making it the country with the highest number of Syrian asylum seekers worldwide.