Since the early stages of the Syrian civil war, several groups and organizations became involved in the country's conflict, both politically and militarily. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were the first states to support the opposition militarily, with the United States promising to send lethal military support as of July 2013. The European Union, Switzerland and the Arab States of the Persian Gulf support the rebels, but restrain themselves from sending weapons. On the other hand, thousands of Assad's supporters from Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah allied with the Syrian government in what was seen as an increasingly sectarian war. Iran and Russia have been supporting the Syrian government, militarily, since early 2012, with China, Venezuela and North Korea supporting the Assad regime in the political front.
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