Climate change and the war in syria

                           Climate change and the war in syria


Syria had faced about three years of drought since 2009 to 2011 when the state then had to face a lot of violence that emanated mostly from the civilians who were tired of the drought that had accrued to them in the past years. The drought forced the migration of the families that were known to be farmers to migrate to urban areas. It also caused a massive failure in the crop growth within the state (Erlich, 2014). The climatic changes do not cause any risk, but they accelerate faster to influence the civilians and leaders to one opposition. The climatic variations were caused by the impacts of the humans, and as such, many authors supported the idea that climate changes played a significant role in the civil war in Syria (Hoskins, 2015).

Research Studies conducted by Buhaug et al., (2014) have explained that climatic changes do not directly cause the resulting civil wars, but the variations influenced most of this chaos. The links between the two have been examined and explained by many theories. The paradigms provide that the climate change multiplied the risks that were already in Syria.

How the change in climate influenced the war in Syria

Related research cases stipulate that the drought in Syria was directly brought about by the government due to the lack of policies to prevent global warming in the state. The global warming that affected the country vastly changed the production of agricultural products as both rain, and the ground water was depleted (Verner & Breisinger, 2013). The global warming was responsible for the drought cases and it was expected that the government would put in measures to combat the same. Due to the nature of the government being corrupt, civil wars begun and were pushed forward by the civilians themselves as they had gathered in the urban cities in search of employment, livestock feeds and water for irrigation purposes (Adelphi & Berlin, 2015).

Despite the drought due to the changed weather patterns in Syria, the Government devised policies that would increase the agriculture product’s production (Breakey, 2016). In the process, the government had to relocate and reclaim land from the civilians to use in their project, which included irrigation, mining and digging to access the water below the surface (Hoskins, 2015). While the farmers were being put off their farming lines by the drought, the population from the countryside continued to diminish as people migrated to the urban areas. The Government did all this while they failed to realize that they were reducing the trust and patience that the civilians had while they took their land for such purposes (Heydemann, 1999).

Additionally, President Bashar al-Assad’s government provided rights to dig wells with a political favor, and as such, the people who wanted to farm had to dig wells illegally to obtain water (Wodon, 2014). If such people were found, or those who were against his ruling spoke out, they were tortured, imprisoned or even persecuted. Unemployment reigned within the state as the President continued to be corrupt and the civilians were tired of his ruling. Prices of foodstuffs such as rice and wheat and livestock feeds rose unprecedented, and this made the civilians protest towards the government and chaos grew (Çakmak & Ustaoglu, 2015).

The poor planning of the government of President Bashar al-Assad before and during the drought period in Syria further induced the wars. The government failed to address the issues put forward by the agricultural communities within the Diara’s streets in Syria. The government had tortured about fifteen teenage boys who had made the complaints of the civilians through painting with graffiti that people were planning a coup on the government (Sapir & Debarati, et al., 2015). The families of these children organized for peaceful demonstrations but later the government engaged in violence with the demonstrators, and many of them lost their lives. Later on, the people started to plan for the change of governance as the government of President Bashar al-Assad’s government had become brutal and did not consider the views and complaints put forward by the people in the state who were not government officials.

According to Cooper (2015), the rapid change in the demographic constitution of a state vastly influenced the stability of the same. People in Syria migrated towards the urban areas in search of better pastures that they could rely on due to the reigning drought. This migration, in turn, rendered the urban areas of Syria unstable due to overcrowding, unemployment, illegal settlement of people, crime, and poor infrastructure. Saleeby (2012) supported the argument by stating that “It is coherent to infer raising weights on urban zones because of inward movement and expanding sustenance frailty. The resulting exponential unemployment levels prodded most of the syrian citizens to make a public outcry of their political grievances. Looking at the Deir az-Zor city, the Syrian most perilously arid regions, one finds profoundly established elements in the collect of difference.” Climatic changes contributed to the migration of people, and thus the urban cities were more prone to violence either between the civilians themselves or between the government and the civilians.

The scarcity of water led to conflicts between the administration and the people, especially the farmers. The former needed the water to support their agricultural produce to suffice their benefits while the latter needed the same water for the same purpose since they had families, which they needed to help. The economic status of Syria had risen, and the farming families were somewhat advantaged by the moist soils that used to exist. The reigning of the drought ensured that the water and moisture that had remained within the moist soil depleted and as such, both the government and the civilians continued to have a rivalry between themselves due to the climate changes that led to water depletion (Philander, 2008). The government had not put any previous plans to curb the drought and instead of planting resistant water crops, they planted the plants that could use up lots of water, thus maximizing the effect produced by the drought. Therefore, the civilians could not have been in any position to support the government.


Enough studies have been carried out with the aim of providing relative information concerning how the civil wars in Syria were affected by the climatic changes in the state that resulted in drought. It has been distinguished that discrepancies in the climate did not directly pose as threats to the country, but they accelerated the way the social impacts were brought into action. Some factors influenced civil wars in Syria, but the primary catalyst was the climatic changes that rendered the people homeless, unemployed, and in turn agents of the war.


Hoskins J., 2015. Climate adjustment in the Fertile Crescent and suggestions of the recent Syrian drought Available at

Saleeby S., 2012. Economic Grievances and the Syrian Social Contract’s unraveling. Obtained from

Cooper, T. 2015. Syrian Conflagration: The Civil War, 2011-13. Solihull, West Midlands, England: Helion & Company Limited.

Adelphi, Berlin 2015. Climate Change and the Syrian War. Available at

Çakmak, C. & Ustaoglu, M. 2015. Post-conflict Syrian state and nation building : economic and political development. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Heydemann, S. 1999. Authoritarianism in Syria: Institutions and Social Conflict, 1946-1970. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

Sapir, Debarati, et al. 2015, Civilian Death from Weapons Used in the Syria Conflict. British Medicinal Newsletter, Available at

Erlich, R. 2014. Inside Syria: the backstory of their civil war and what the world can expect. Amherst, New York: Prometheus B

Breakey, H. 2016. Ethical Values and the Truthfulness of the Climate Transformation Regime. City: Taylor and Francis.

Buhaug, H. et al. 2014. One Effect to Rule them All? A Comment on Climate and Conflict. Available at

Philander, D. 2008. Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Verner, D. & Breisinger, C. 2013. Economics of Climate Change in the Arab World: Case Studies from Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. Washington D.C: The World Bank.

Wodon, Q. 2014. Climate variation and migration: an indication from the Middle East and North Africa. Wash

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