Source: Concern (2016)
Syria before 2010 was ruled by a despot, Bashar al-Assad, who would stop at nothing to remain in power. But prior to the present rebellion, people in Syria of different religions, including Christianity, and different ethnicities lived in peace, so long as they obeyed the despot. Syria took in refugees from war-torn nations such as Iraq.
The original rebellion way have been sparked by genuine small-d democrats, but it was soon taken over by the so-called Islamic State (aka ISIS), the al-Nusra Front (successor to al Qaeda) and other radical Sunni Muslim terrorists supported by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.
Support of these rebels by the U.S. government had nothing to do with any war on terror and everything to do with supporting the interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Terrorists have been strengthened by U.S. intervention, as they were strengthened by U.S. intervention in Iraq and Libya.
Stepping up U.S. intervention in Syria will, as Donald Trump remarked in 2013, accomplish nothing.
Syria: Five Years of War by Sadhbh Goodhue for Concern (2016)
America can’t save Syria and it shouldn’t try by Michael Brendan Dougherty for The Week.