Civil War: Blood on the Battlefields is a 3-part documentary mini-series examining the U.S. Civil war from 1861 to 1865.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Civil War: Blood on the Battlefields - Syrian Civil War - Netflix
The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية, Al-ḥarb al-ʼahliyyah as-sūriyyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought primarily between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with its allies, and various forces opposing both the government and each other in varying combinations. The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for his removal were violently suppressed. The war is being fought by several factions: the Syrian government and its international allies, a loose alliance of Sunni Arab rebel groups (including the Free Syrian Army), the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction. Iran, Russia and Hezbollah support the Syrian government militarily, with Russia conducting air operations since September 2015. The U.S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes against ISIL as well as against government and pro-government targets. Turkey, on the other hand, has become deeply involved since 2016, actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swathes of northwestern Syria. International organizations have accused the Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups, and the U.S.-led coalition of severe human rights violations and of massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues.
Civil War: Blood on the Battlefields - Russian intervention and Aleppo offensive (30 September 2015 – February 2016) - Netflix
On 30 September 2015, in response to an official request by the Syrian government, the Russian Aerospace Forces began a sustained campaign of air strikes against both ISIL and the anti-Assad FSA. Initially, the raids were conducted solely by Russian aircraft stationed in the Khmeimim base in Syria. Shortly after the start of the Russian operation, U.S. president Barack Obama was reported to have authorized the resupply of Syrian Kurds and the Arab-Syrian opposition, Obama reportedly emphasizing to his team that the U.S. would continue to support the Syrian opposition now that Russia had joined the conflict. On 7 October 2015, Russian officials said the ships of the Caspian Flotilla had earlier that day fired 26 sea-based cruise missiles at 11 ISIL targets in Syria destroying those and causing no civilian casualties. That day, the Syrian government launched the northwest Syrian offensive that in the following few days succeeded in recapturing some territory in northern Hama Governorate, close to the government's coastal heartland in the west of the country. On 8 October 2015, the U.S. officially announced the end of the Pentagon’s half-billion dollar program to train and equip Syrian rebels and acknowledged that it had failed However, other covert and significantly larger CIA programs to arm anti-government fighters in Syria continued.
Two weeks after the start of the Russian campaign in Syria, The New York Times opined that with anti-government commanders receiving for the first time bountiful supplies of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles and with Russia raising the number of airstrikes against the government’s opponents that had raised morale in both camps, broadening war objectives and hardening political positions, the conflict was turning into an all-out proxy war between the U.S. and Russia. Despite multiple top-ranking casualties incurred by the Iranian forces advising fighters in Syria, in mid-October the Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah offensive targeting rebels in Aleppo went ahead. At the end of October 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter signalled a shift in the strategy of the U.S.-led campaign saying there will be more air strikes and ruling in the use of direct ground raids, the fight in Syria concentrating mostly on Raqqa. On 30 October and two weeks later, Syria peace talks were held in Vienna, initiated by the United States, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in which on 30 October Iran participated for the first time in negotiations on Syrian settlement. The participants disagreed on the future of Bashar Assad. On 10 November 2015, the Syrian government forces completed the operation to break through the Islamic State insurgents' blockade of the Kweires air base in Aleppo Province, where government forces had been under siege since April 2013. In mid-November 2015, in the wake of the Russian plane bombing over Sinai and the Paris attacks, both Russia and France significantly intensified their strikes in Syria, France closely coordinating with the U.S. military. On 17 November, Putin said he had issued orders for the cruiser Moskva that had been in eastern Mediterranean since the start of the Russian operations to “work as with an ally”, with the French naval group led by flagship Charles De Gaulle that had been on her way to eastern Mediterranean since early November. Shortly afterwards, a Russian foreign ministry official criticised France's stridently anti-Assad stance as well as France's air strikes at oil and gas installations in Syria as apparently designed to prevent those from returning under the Syrian government's control; the Russian official pointed out that such strikes by France could not be justified as they were carried out without the Syrian government's consent. In his remarks to a French delegation that included French parliamentarians, on 14 November, President Bashar Assad sharply criticised France's as well as other Western States' actions against the Syrian government suggesting that French support for Syrian opposition forces had led to the Islamic State-claimed attacks in Paris. On 19 November 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking of the Vienna process, said he was unable to “foresee a situation in which we can end the civil war in Syria while Assad remains in power”; he urged Russia and Iran to stop supporting the Syrian government. On 20 November 2015, the U.N. Security Council, while failing to invoke the UN's Chapter VII, which gives specific legal authorisation for the use of force, unanimously passed Resolution 2249 that urged UN members to “redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council”. The adopted resolution was drafted by France and co-sponsored by the UK the following day after Russia introduced an updated version of its previously submitted draft resolution that was blocked by the Western powers as seeking to legitimise Assad’s authority. On 24 November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly violated Turkish airspace and crashed in northwestern Syria, leading to the Russian pilot's death. Following the crash, it was reported that Syrian Turkmen rebels from Syrian Turkmen Brigades attacked and shot down a Russian rescue helicopter, killing a Russian naval infantryman. A few days after, Russian aircraft were reported to have struck targets in the Syrian town of Ariha in Idlib province that was controlled by the Army of Conquest causing multiple casualties on the ground. On 2 December 2015, the Parliament of the United Kingdom voted to expand Operation Shader into Syria with a majority of 397–223. That day, two British Tornado aircraft took off from RAF Akrotiri immediately at 22:30, each carrying three Paveway bombs. Two further aircraft were deployed at 00:30 on 3 December, and all aircraft returned by 06:30 without their bombs. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that the strikes hit the Omar oil fields in eastern Syria, and that eight more jets (two Tornados and six Typhoons) were being sent to RAF Akrotiri to join the eight already there. On 7 December 2015, the government of Syria announced that US-led coalition warplanes had fired nine missiles at its army camp near Ayyash, Deir al-Zour province, on the evening prior, killing three soldiers and wounding 13 others; three armoured vehicles, four military vehicles, heavy machine-guns and an arms and ammunition depot were also destroyed. The government condemned the strikes, the first time the government forces would be struck by the coalition, as an act of “flagrant aggression”; the coalition spokesman denied it was responsible. Anonymous Pentagon officials alleged later in the day that the Pentagon was “certain” that a Russian warplane (presumably a TU-22 bomber) had carried out the attack. The claim was denied by the Russian military spokesman. On 14 December 2015, Russia's government news media reported that the Syrian government forces retook a Marj al-Sultan military airbase east of Damascus that had been held by Jaysh al-Islam. The UN resolution 2254 of 18 December 2015 that endorsed the ISSG's transitional plan but did not clarify who would represent the Syrian opposition, while condemning terrorist groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda; it made no mention of the future role of Syrian President Bashar Assad. On 12 January 2016, the Syria government announced that its army and allied forces had established “full control” of the strategically situated town of Salma, whose pre-war population was predominantly Sunni, in the northwestern province of Latakia, and continued to advance north. On 16 January 2016, ISIL militants launched raid on government-held areas in the city of Deir ez-Zor and killed up to 300 people. Counter-strikes by Russian Air Force fighter jets, in support of Syrian army forces, were reported to take back the areas. On 21 January 2016, Russia's activity presumably aimed at setting up a new base in the government-controlled Kamishly Airport was first reported; the northeastern town of Qamishli in the Al-Hasakah Governorate had been largely under the Syrian Kurds' control since the start of the Syrian Kurdish–Islamist conflict in the governorate of Al-Hasakah in July 2013. Similar activity by the U.S. forces was suspected in the Rmeilan Airbase in the same province, 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from the Kamishly Airport; the area is likewise controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). On 24 January 2016, the Syrian government announced its forces, carrying on with their Latakia offensive, had seized the predominantly Sunni-populated town of Rabia, the last major town held by rebels in western Latakia province; Russian forces were said to have played an important role in the recapture. The capture of Rabia was said to threaten rebel supply lines from Turkey. By 26 January 2016, the Syrian government established “full control” over the town of Al-Shaykh Maskin in the Daraa Governorate, thus completing the operation that had begun in late December 2015. The town's capture by the Syrian government was remarked as a “turning of the tide in the Syrian war” by Al-Jazeera.
Civil War: Blood on the Battlefields - References - Netflix