A Resume On The Syrian Civil War

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Mallardo – M4 Written Assignment A prerequisite in understanding the Syrian civil war is to consider which groups are involved. One of the most debated issue within the conflict is the role of the two largest religious branches within Islam: Sunni and Shia. In what way are they different in Syria and what are their respective motivations? Why are they confronting each other and what do they look to achieve? To understand what is happening in Syria today, it is helpful to look back at the country’s history. Opposition movements started under the Ottoman Empire, with underground groups fighting the Ottomans for the independence of their country, resulting in a brief period of autonomy in 1920. After the partition of the Ottoman Empire at the San Remo conference, the country was put under French mandate with the approval of the League of Nations however revolts continued against the new rulers. To maintain control, France incited historical sectarian divisions: “during the period of the French mandate (1920-46), sectarian divisions were deliberately incited in order to suppress Arab nationalism” (Fildis, 2012). However, the fight against a common enemy brought together Sunnis, Shias, Alawites, Druzes and Christians Syrians. Eventually, the parties negotiated a Treaty of Independence. After autonomy, turmoil continued, leading to a series of military coups and counter-coups. As Mansfield describes: “the men who had led the struggle against the French did not prove adept at the

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