Syria is Beleaguered by Internal Wars and External Interventions, says Expert

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This month the civil war in Syria will enter its eighth year of fighting. More than 400,000 have been killed, nearly 1 million injured and over one-third of the nation’s infrastructure has been destroyed, says Dr. Bassam Haddad, an expert on Syria.
Millions have been displaced from their homes and other countries have felt the glut of millions of Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting.
What started as an internal civil war in 2011 against the dictatorship of President Bashar a-Assad has become a cauldron of international intervention. In addition to the United States and Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have been involved in supporting one side or the other. Hezbollah also has been involved along with ISIS who, at one time, controlled 45 percent of the country, Dr. Haddad notes.
ISIS took control of much of the northern and eastern parts of Syria in 2013 in an effort to establish its own caliphate. But, ISIS was finally routed from their territory by a military coalition after fierce battles. ISIS now holds only limited portions of the rural countryside, Dr. Haddad says.
At the eight year mark of the Syrian struggles, the country still faces internal political unrest, external interventions, battles between Turkey and the Kurds and a massive task to rebuild the physical part of the country and infrastructure destroyed by war.
Dr. Haddad talks to Spectrum about all of these issues. He puts the conflicts into historical context from the beginning of the uprisings and discusses the current challenges facing this war-weary nation.
Dr. Haddad is a scholar, a teacher, an author, and a documentary film-maker. His second book is provisionally titled “Understanding the Syrian Tragedy: Regime, Opposition and Outsiders” to be published by Stanford University Press.
He also has been the co-producer/director of the award winning documentary film, “About Baghdad” and he also directed the acclaimed film, “Arabs and Terrorism.”