Global Security Watch -- Syria

Global Security Watch -- Syria

Global Security Watch -- Syria

Global Security Watch -- Syria

Synopsis

In this insightful work, a noted expert goes behind the headlines to examine the complexities of Syrian politics and their impact on the modern world. Beginning with an overview of political and economic change after 1963 when the Ba'th Party came to power, the book focuses on developments in Syria since Bashar al-Assad assumed the presidency in 2000. It probes the evolution of the Islamist opposition and the course of the popular uprising that broke out in 2011 and explores Syria's multilayered relations with Israel, Turkey, Iran, Russia, and the United States.

Readers will learn why rebellion in Syria has taken a much different path than movements that overturned autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. They will also come away with a more nuanced understanding of the pivotal role Syria plays in both the Arab-Israeli conflict and inter-Arab relations, as well as the confluence of domestic challenges and foreign threats that make Syria the most vulnerable state in the contemporary Middle East.

Excerpt

During the first week of July 2012, the Syrian navy carried out large-scale exercises involving warships, attack helicopters, and land-based missiles. the purpose of the maneuvers, according to Syrian state television, was to “defend Syria’s shores against any possible aggression.” At the same time, Iraq’s foreign minister warned that cadres of the global terrorist network al-Qa‘idah were crossing the border into Syria to spread violence throughout the Middle East. News that a high-ranking commander in the elite Republican Guard had defected and fled to France coincided with reports that delegates to a congress of opposition groups meeting in Cairo had descended into fistfights and chair throwing when the closing communiqué was read aloud. After the congress broke up, one of the two major opposition coalitions, the National Coordinating Committee of the Forces for Democratic Change, issued a statement that praised Syrian soldiers who had refused to shoot at protesters and denounced the militarization of the struggle against the Ba‘th Party–led regime, particularly the tactics employed by the Free Syrian Army. Meanwhile, Syria’s minister of internal commerce and the protection of consumption admonished citizens to deal with the ongoing shortage of household fuel by “adapting to the crisis” and “organizing themselves to defend their interests.”

Taken together, these snapshots illustrate the broad range of threats that confronted Syria during the summer of 2012. Some of these threats came from outside the country’s borders, as Syrian officials never missed an opportunity to point out. President Bashshar al-Asad told German television on July 8, for instance, that the violence that had engulfed Syria was the work of “gangs, different kinds of gangs,” whose activities were sponsored and funded by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States. the likelihood of an armed clash with Turkey did indeed seem high at that particular moment, barely a week after the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.