Roots of the Syrian crisis

Roots of the Syrian crisis

In December 2010, when trouble erupted in Tunisia, the Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa were mired in serious problems. In the entire Arab world, political freedom was at a premium, to varying degrees. There was large scale unemployment. Benefits of economic growth were cornered by a few; and the younger generation was restive. The crisis in Tunisia spread swiftly to other regional countries, for the economic and political conditions were not much different. It was thought that unrest would spread to Syria and the regime would collapse. This did not happen. Calls for rising up against the ruling Syrian President Bashar al - Assad’s regime did not find traction. It took a lot of coaxing and involvement of external forces to get the fire ignited in Syria in mid - March 2011.

Contrary to predictions, the Syrian regime has withstood relentless pressure and onslaught from abroad for nearly five years. A closer look at the conditions in Syria in 2010/2011 would help understanding why the regime has survived; the complexity of the situation in Syria; and what makes the search for a negotiated political solution difficult.

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