History of the Syrian Civil War
Dr. Janis Gibbs
The Syrian Civil War is not simply a war between the oppressive Assad regime and the disenfranchised Syrian people. It is a war being fought between competing factions with different ideas about the future of Syria. Syrians have shifted back and forth between seeing themselves as citizens of a nation state and as members of a regional Pan-Arabic community. Their situation is further complicated by the diversity of the population, which includes Sunnis, Shias, Alawites, Kurds, Druze, Christians, and Jews whose opinions are as diverse as the population. The former and current Assad regimes have embodied the nationalist position, while providing a privileged position for their Alawite community. The Syrian Civil War began with resistance to the Assad regime but has fragmented into a war between groups fighting for different political, religious, and social visions of Syria’s future.
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