ISIS first began as an al Qaeda splinter cluster. The main objective of ISIS is to generate an Islamic state within the Sunni areas of Syria and Iraq. Their tactics are brutal, with violence and deaths recurring as a result of their actions. Because of this thousands of people have died or fled from Syria and Iraq in order to escape the ongoing violence. The ones that stay in Syria have felt the impact of ISIS' presence within the country. Politically (refugees and law enforcement) and economically (housing and access to healthcare), Syria has witnessed the full negative effects of ISIS occupation.
Civil conflicts have increased in the last decade within countries like Syria. Part of it is due to lack of government intervention, another is ISIS activity and Jihadist foreign fighters. "Jihadist foreign fighters have become common in civil conflicts in Muslim countries. It is concluded that foreign fighters have overwhelmingly damaged the Chechen and Syrian opposition movements, making the likelihood of opposition success more remote" (Rich & Conduit, 2014, p. 12). These foreign fighters that also make up part of the ISIS group, reduce Syria's military forces and keep the Syrian government from having the necessary resources to defend against invasion. The constant battles not only scar the land and weaken the boundaries, but they also create a weakened government that cannot protect its people.
Unexpected attacks also promote fear and upheaval with one of the latest attacks occurring in June of 2014. "In June 2014, ISIS suddenly launched an unexpected offensive against the northern city of Mosul, the country's second-largest." (Russell, 2014, p. 88). Most of the law enforcement of the area simply abandoned their positions. In only a couple of hours, the city fell. Not only were ISIS able to finance their objectives easily, but because of their actions, thousands had to flee to the nearby Kurdish territory. The situation in Mosul helped spread ISIS related terror from east to south of the country.
Not only have attacks like these created refugees, but they strengthen ISIS by allowing them to finance their objectives. With such constant turmoil and uncertainty, followed by deaths and violence at the hands of ISIS, the government and law enforcement of Syria has either reduced or weakened. They are afraid to fight or do not have the resources to defend themselves. The refugee problem has grown in recent times due to these slew of attacks. Recent statistics show over 140,000 refugees leave Syria and seek refuge in nearby countries. "As of yesterday, over 140,000 Syrians crossed the border from Ayn Al Arab into the town of Suruc in the South East of Turkey. The majority of those who fled are women and children."(Iom.int, 2014).
Isis has clearly shown devastating effects within the borders of Syria. And it has only escalated within the last year and a half. "The past 18 months have witnessed considerable turmoil in countries of the MENA region. The Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) is one such country, currently in the midst of a civil war" (AlFaisal & Sen, 2013, p. 195). Tension of this nature has even spread to several areas near or in Syria with civil conflicts increasing by the month. Unfortunately people within the government cannot do much to aid citizens or keep them safe. As ISIS keeps pillaging cities and towns, killing those they encounter, the government's political and economic state has weakened.
Government officials within Syria are on high alert and often refuse to intervene when ISIS attacks a city or town. The example shown earlier of law enforcement abandoning their posts is an all too common occurrence now as conflicts continue. Citizens lose morale and businesses fail. The effects of the ISIS invasion grows and soon whole cities will be abandoned in lieu for safer regions outside of Syria as shown by the 140,000 that have recently fled. Since businesses are affected by the ISIS conflicts, the economy has suffered greatly especially in areas like housing.
In the area of housing, the country of Syria demonstrates an uncommon set of physiognomies. Notwithstanding being chiefly free of the representative Third World shantytowns, an ever-larger portion of the populace is categorized as living in unceremonious settlements. "This lack of affordable, decent housing is increasingly seen as a major socioeconomic crisis, while at the same time vast amounts of money are being invested in luxury properties for a newly visible, ultra-wealthy elite" (Goulden, 2011, p. 187). While decent housing is being reduced or becoming non-existent for the majority of Syrians, the influx of expensive housing amidst the country's domestic problems seems strange. What little money the country has, that is not going to ISIS, is being spent on housing that benefits the wealthy. Is this a result of ISIS intervention?
ISIS has a way of creating problems for people and the government. But how do their actions create such a polarizing situation in the housing sector. The answer could lie in the lack of government presence in the housing sector. Since the government is occupied dealing with, or not dealing with ISIS problems, people looking to invest and build in the housing market have free reign to do as they please. They can build and spend on whatever they like without government regulation and supervision.
Sadly this happens a lot with war torn countries as even in places like Russia, ultra-wealthy business people existed amidst communism and when battles broke out, they profited, doing business deals while battles ensued. So many of the situations in Syria have created instability, only the ones with a lot of money and options remain. They become the ones with the power and they are the ones that benefit from the chaos and destruction brought on by ISIS.
Other sectors, besides housing are also effected by ISIS. One such area is healthcare, particularly availability of medicines and mortality rates. It comes as ironic since previous to the onslaught of ISIS, Syria experienced a steady decline on mortality rates as well as an increase in quality of healthcare. "The country achieved remarkable declines in maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Its health sector now faces destruction from on-going violence compounded by economic sanctions that has affected access to health care, to medicines and to basic essentials as well as the destruction of infrastructure" (AlFaisal & Sen, 2013, p. 195). ISIS activity both destroyed as well as weakened, much like the government and the housing sector, through its violent, terrorist actions.
Continuing actions of the ISIS organization have only worsened an already weakened Syrian healthcare structure by forcing people to evacuate cities and towns, leaving no one to operate hospitals and manage medical resources. ISIS participants also steal from these facilities to restock their own supplies. The unfortunate rise and fall of Syrian healthcare appears to continue on a downward trajectory. ISIS will not leave Syria and will not cease to stop their militant activates.
Furthermore, their refusal to stop their violent acts will continue to push forth an agenda that could jeopardize the very stability of the country. People in Syria are afraid and with good reason, to stay and fight for a country that cannot protect them, nor take care of them. Ongoing violence not only strips morale, but also strips resources from the government and the people. The government cannot regulate nor stop hazardous processes leaving the wealthy and the powerful to have free reign within the country.
A total of three million refugees left Syria within the last two years. The number is rising and little can be done to alleviate the conflict. Foreign intervention, to try to quell the conflicts lead to airstrikes that, although damage bases and camps, also damage cities since they are built or exist usually nearby. Additionally, ISIS interactions with the local populace lead to rapes, beheadings, and an all too familiar state of panic and terror. News sources reveal horrible footage of violence that places fear into the hearts of those within Syria and outside Syria.
In conclusion, research shows the cause of Syria's problems appear to be the rise of ISIS and their subsequent actions within the country's borders. ISIS has looted, killed, raped, and snuffed out a lot of the resistance within Syria and caused nearby countries to refuse to intervene. Information from the research shows before ISIS pursued their objectives, housing and healthcare was seeing improvements along with a semi-stable government. Now housing quality has diminished with only improvements made to the kind of housing only wealthy people could afford.
Quality of healthcare and availability of medicine has also diminished even though there was a steady decrease in infant and mother mortality prior to 2012. In just a few years, everything from political stability, to economic policy, and healthcare reform have ceased or worsened since ISIS generated conflicts within Syrian borders. Undoubtedly they are the main reason for the problems arising in Syria. Conflicts, government, and the economy will only get worse with continual presence of ISIS. For the country to…