The Syrian Refugee Crisis is a result of the Syrian civil war that started in 2011 when the country's president, Bashar al-Assad, acted violently to repress anti-government protestors during the Arab Spring. Since the civil war began, many Syrians have been forced to flee to nearby countries for safety. It is estimated that eleven million Syrians have fled their homes since the beginning of the war with five million fleeing to neighboring countries and one million fleeing to Europe. Sweden and Germany lead Europe in the number of Syrian refugees taken with 100,000 and 300,000 respectively. Sweden, like the rest of Europe has also had a large influx of refugees from other countries like Iraq, Afganistan, Somalia, and Eritrea. Including the refugees from the other counties, a total of 400,000 immigrants have sought asylum in Sweden since 2011. As a country of only nine million, Sweden has taken the greatest number of refugees per capita of any European country. As a result of the large refugee influx, Sweden has now been forced to restrict entry into their borders. As of January 2016, Sweden now requires passports to enter the country and obtaining permanent refugee status has become much harder.