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Although propped-up by economic and military support from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, the government of Syria was nearing the brink of collapse during the first half of 2013 when, prompted by Tehran, the Hezbollah – a Shi’a Islamic militant group (and political party) from Lebanon – entered the conflict on its side. Soon after, the Hezbollah was reinforced by significant contingents of Iranian-sponsored Shi’a from Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, and then by volunteers from Iran, including crack units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Meanwhile, already split along the lines of Syria’s complex demography, much of the insurgency transformed from a secular and non-sectarian movement into proxies of various foreign powers, foremost Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but also Turkey and Kuwait. Furthermore, foreign Jihadists motivated by al-Qaida joined the fray, aiming to establish an Islamist state and clandestinely cooperating with the government, they fell into the back of insurgency. Thus, an extremely complex conflict – which meanwhile not only spilled over the border into Lebanon, but is having a major impact upon Iranian-Saudi relations, and relations between the West, Iran and a number of Arab countries – came into being, the outcome of which is presently anything but predictable. Syrian Conflagration is the first installment in the Middle East@War series. Drawing on extensive research, including first hand accounts it provides a compelling overview of the first three years of the ongoing conflict in Syria. The book features around 140 photos, 12-15 artworks and 3-4 maps.
Middle East@War - following on from our highly successful Africa@War series, Middle East@War replicates the same format - concise, incisive text, rare images and high quality color artwork providing fresh accounts of both well-known and more esoteric aspects of conflict in this part of the world since 1945.