IBTimes UK speaks with intelligence consultant David Otto − CEO of UK-based global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants − on how the crisis in Syria has worsened following the military intervention of Russia, which said it aimed to tackle members of the Islamic State (Isis) and other Islamist terror groups.
According to Otto, a coalition backing the rebels on one side and another one supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the other, make it difficult to distinguish between terrorists and so-called "freedom fighters". It suggests that a solution to the conflict is far from being achieved. Otto added that the current scenario will allow IS to take advantage of the crisis and gain more power.
In 2011, Assad faced an armed uprising that erupted in the wave of pro-democracy protests across the Middle East, known as the "Arab Spring". Assad tried to crush the uprising with the support of its allies.
The country quickly descended into war − still continuing today − resulting in the death of more than 240,000 people, with civilians often being targeted by air and ground attacks from both sides. As a result, more than 4 million people have fled the country seeking asylum.