Islamic State only the latest group to fill vacuum left by long Ba'athist retreat in Syria



Simon Jackson

Black-clad fighters, suffering refugees and Western warplanes overhead – these are the mainstays of Iraq and Syria coverage as the Islamic State (IS) continues its campaign. Notably absent from debates is how today’s Iraq and Syria emerged from their own national histories, and not just out of foreign meddling – from Sykes-Picot to Bush and Blair.

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Have your say

  • Kate McLuskie
    1. At 10:58AM on 22 August 2014, Kate McLuskie wrote

    Great article. So helpful to have that historical and social content to complicate the great power narrative that dominates the news.

  • Dr Salem
    2. At 10:29AM on 25 August 2014, Dr Salem wrote

    Syrian Alawite applying the theory of land lord and the slave under cover of what is supposedly socialism, this country is not more than land and intimidated slave.

  • Chris Boshell
    3. At 10:03AM on 26 August 2014, Chris Boshell wrote

    Very interesting article. One other aspect which I think is relevant here is what is the driving force behind young men from the west making the trip to the middle east to join what is ostensibly a 'foreign' war in the name of 'Islam'. Does what I believe is the romanticism of the cause relate more to the fact that there is not a radical ideological alternative to religion in the west, i.e.. a socialist opposition which formerly wound have attracted the young in decades past?