The situation in Syria has reached the same stage as the killings in Bosnia and Rwanda. As the fighting rages the list of war crimes and the death toll continue to rise. While the conflict has its origins in domestic politics, it involves a string of actors and has become very complex. It is clear that, with the current imbalance of power, neither the fragmented opposition nor the Assad regime can win the conflict outright. The array of competing interests and contending perspectives make it difficult to imagine a viable political solution that would be acceptable to all interested parties. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon puts it, ‘the UN, the US, the European Union and the countries of the Middle East are flummoxed on how to end the conflict’.

Books reviewed
Revolt in Syria, Stephen Starr (Hurst, London, 2012)
The Syria Dilemma, Nader Hashemi & Danny Postel (eds) (MIT Press, London & Cambridge, MA 2013)

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