The US had decided to pull out of helping Syria and fight against the terrorist group “ISIS” since 2011. This pullback upended Syria’s 8 year old civil war. The war had killed over 500,000 people since 2011 and displaced half the country’s pre war population of 22 million. Asad was known to rule ruthlessly and harsh crackdowns against his opponents.
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 has continued. The traditionally tense relations between Turkey and Syria had been due to disputes including the self annexation of the Hatay Province to Turkey in 1939, water disputes resulting from the Southeastern Anatolia Project, and Syria’s support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the now-dissolved. Diplomatic relations between Syria and the United States are currently non-existent; they were suspended in 2012 after the onset of the Syrian Civil War. Priority issues between the two states include the Arab–Israeli conflict, the Golan Heights annexation, and the Iraq War.