Civil War Continues in Syria

April 7, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. rock (v.) 
[rok] – to shake something violently
Example:  The volcano was rocked by explosions.

2. rebel (n.) [reb-uhl] – a person or a group who fights authority
ExampleRebels refuse to follow government laws.

3. civil war (n.) [siv-uhl][wawr] – a war between people within the same country
Example: Citizens are disunited during a civil war.

4. oust (v.) [oust] – to force someone out of position
Example: Soldiers want to oust the current president.

5. civilian (n.) [si-vil-yuhn] – a non-military person
ExampleCivilians are not allowed to enter the military headquarters.

Read the text below.

Hour-long gunfires and bomb explosions have rocked Syria in the last few weeks of March, as government and rebel armies continue to fight in a bloody civil war.

The civil war began in 2011, with people in Syria forming groups to oust president Bashar al-Assad from position. The al-Assad family has been in power in the country for over forty years.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC), an activist group against the government, has been reporting about clashes in different cities through web sites like Facebook. Most of the fights have been between government troops and a rebel group called the Free Syrian Army.

According to the United Nations, more than 8,000 people across the country, most of which are civilians, have died because of the conflicts. The number includes people who have died from two recent car bombings, one on March 17 in the city of Damascus and another on March 18 in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

Syria’s government-controlled TV station reported that the bombings last March 19 were “terrorist” actions of rebels. However, Ammar al-Wawi, captain of the Free Syrian Army, said the army did not cause the explosions.

He says the government is trying to make other countries believe that rebels are causing the attacks, when in truth the government is the one killing innocent people. Reports say the government has started killing civilians in order to take down more people who are against al-Assad.

For months, human rights groups around the world have been calling on the government to end the violence.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How can a government maintain peace in the country?
·         What do you think is the main reason for lack of peace in some countries?

Discussion B

·         Would you say the conflict in Syria matters to the rest of the world? Why or why not?
·         How important is it for us to understand the conflicts in other countries?


April 7, 2012