Syria was once one of the Middle Eastï¿1⁄2s most stable states. Today it is a country on its knees. Almost 200,000 people are estimated to have died in its bloody internal conflict and, as the violence intensifies, Syriaï¿1⁄2s future looks bleak.
In this timely book, Samer Abboud provides an in-depth analysis of Syriaï¿1⁄2s descent into civil war. He unravels the complex and multi-layered causes of the current political and military stalemate - from rebel fragmentation to the differing roles of international actors, and the rise of competing centers of power throughout the country. Rebel in-fighting and the lack of a centralizing authority, he contends, have exacerbated Syriaï¿1⁄2s fragmentation and fragility. This, in turn, has aided the survival of the Assad regime, contributed to the upsurge of sectarianism, and led to a major humanitarian crisis as nine million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes.
A resolution to the Syrian conflict seems unlikely in the short-term as the major actors remains committed to a military solution. As this situation persists, the continued fighting is reshaping Syriaï¿1⁄2s borders and will have repercussions on the wider Middle East for decades to come.