If you find the conflict in Syria overwhelming and confusing, you're not the only one. Check out our cheat sheet below for some important details.
+ What’s going on?
There is currently a civil war happening in Syria.
+ How did it start?
Well, this was years in the making, but many people point to the year 2011. Some teens were arrested for writing the phrase "The people want to topple the regime" as graffiti. People protested the way the teens were treated, then security officials started shooting the protesters. From there, the protests and violence continued to rise.
+ Who’s fighting whom?
Many Syrians are protesting the president of Syria, Bashar Hafez al-Assad. However, it’s not as simple as “the people of Syria vs. Assad.” Syrians who don't support Assad also are having disagreements and fights among themselves, and some Syrians still support Assad. Some people are hesitant to join the protesters because some protesters (not all) have links to al-Qaida.
+ What about the chemical weapons?
Last month the Syrian government reportedly used chemical weapons against its own people. President Assad’s government said the chemical weapons were used by jihadists working with the protestors. However, President Obama has said there is no evidence to prove President Assad's claims.
+ What is happening to the people of Syria?
The UN is reporting that there are more than 2 million refugees escaping from Syria. Every quarter of a minute a new Syrian refugee is added to that number. Meanwhile, more than 110,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since 2011.
+ What is America doing?
Your elected officials are now in talks about the possibility of America getting involved in the Syrian conflict. How do you feel about this? You can voice your opinion by contacting your local rep. What’s going on in Syria is quite complex, so you might want to do more research first. You can check out this detailed BBC timeline of the Syrian conflict and get more information at CNN.
President Barack Obama will be holding a national, televised press conference about Syria on Tuesday.