By creating this infographic, I learned about the causes of the uprising in Syria in 2012, the reasons why the uprising became a civil war, the role that external powers played in the civil war, and the many costs of the civil war. Surprisingly (to me, at least), one very significant factor which led to the uprising in Syria in 2011 was that of climate change. It is thought that climate change is what caused the 2006 drought in Syria, which was the worst drought in 900 years (Mansharamani, 2016). The drought led to ruined farms and the loss of livestock, and many people were forced to move from the rural areas into the cities. In addition, there were many food and water shortages. All of these factors caused great unrest among the people. In 2012, the Arab Spring reached Aleppo (Vice, 2018). President Bashar al-Assad responded to the peoples’ largely peaceful, democratic protests with absolute horror. He sieged rebel-dominated cities, cut food and essential supplies from civilians, ordered mass shellings, torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, and indiscriminate bombings (Vice, 2018). Because of this, many people felt that their only choice was to fight back against Assad and the Syrian military with violence. I think that the Arab Spring in Syria turned into a civil war instead of toppling the regime or the regime offering some kind of concessions to the protesters largely because Assad wanted war. According to the Vox article, Assad’s main goal was to “turn the broad-based protest movement from a political struggle – which Assad’s unpopular regime was bound to lose – into a military one, where his control of the army meant he might be able to kill his way to victory” (Beauchamp, 2018). Assad did just that, and started the Syrian civil war. In 2011, “defectors from Assad’s regime formed an organized militia called the Free Syrian Army to protect protesters and strike back at Assad” (Beauchamp, 2018). By 2012, Syria was in a full-blown civil war. Assad receives direct aid from Russia and Iran (BBC, 2018). Turkey fights against the Kurdish forces, and Israel attacks Hezbollah and Assad’s forces (BBC, 2018). Saudi Arabia provides the rebels with deadly weapons to use against Assad, while the USA has armed and trained the Kurdish forces to fight against DAESH. Recently, the USA has also bombed Syria in a failed attempt to “deter” Assad’s chemical weapon use (BBC, 2018 & Beauchamp, 2018). As of 2016, the civil war had “claimed almost half a million lives, wounded close to 2 million people, generated 4.8 million refugees and displaced almost 7 million people within Syria” (Mansharamani, 2016).