By May 31, 2013 Read More →
Is war in Syria a threat to the wider Middle East?

Is war in Syria a threat to the wider Middle East?

The latest developments in Syria bode ill for any hopes of a resolution of the conflict in the coming months. The increasing involvement of Hizbollah, and the supply of Russian military hardware to the Assad regime will likely do little more than entrench the stalemate. For how much longer? And with what consequences for the region? Patrick Cockburn’s latest piece for the LRB offers a perspective on the wider dimensions of the conflict;

The Syrian civil war is spreading. This, not well-publicised advances or withdrawals on the battlefield, is the most important new development. Political leaders in the region see the dangers more intensely than the rest of the world. ‘Neither the opposition nor the regime can finish the other off,’ Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said earlier this year. ‘If the opposition is victorious, there will be a civil war in Lebanon, divisions in Jordan, and a sectarian war in Iraq.’ Of these countries, the most vulnerable is Lebanon, given the division between Sunni and Shia, a weak state, porous borders and proximity to heavily populated areas of Syria. A country of four million people has already taken in half a million Syrian refugees, most of them Sunnis.

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LSE Lecture

Posted in: Middle East, Syria

About the Author:

William Oliver is Nabateans’ editor for international economics and Middle East current affairs. He obtained his degree in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. While his studies focused on the Middle East in the 18th and 19th centuries, William has a long-standing interest in international finance and the political economy of development. William’s work is aimed at understanding how the Middle East integrates with the global economy, and into the wider geopolitical landscape.

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