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Civil war in Syria: external actors and interests as drivers of conflict

Syrien im Bürgerkrieg: externe Akteure und Interessen als Treiber des Konflikts

Wimmen, Heiko; Asseburg, Muriel

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Corporate Editor Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit
Abstract The armed conflict in Syria has accelerated in recent months. Both regime and rebels see themselves in a fight for survival that leaves no room for compromise. External supporters of both sides treat the conflict as a zero-sum game with far-reaching and, for some actors existential, consequences for their own strategic positions, and are therefore determined to prevent any outcome they would regard as disadvantageous. Their diplomatic, financial and in some cases military support fans the flames of conflict and strengthens the hand of hardliners on both sides. For the foreseeable future, there is good reason to expect that the conflict will be neither resolved politically nor won militarily. The priority for Europeans should be to stem the violence and support inclusive civilian structures; the latter could contribute to improving living conditions at the local level and counteracting radical and centrifugal tendencies. (author's abstract)
Keywords Syria; civil war; revolution; power struggle; opposition; foreign policy; polarization; conflict management; Federal Republic of Germany; Lebanon; Israel; Iraq; Turkey; Kurdistan; Iran; United States of America; Russia; nuclear weapon; Persian Gulf; EU; religious conflict; ethnic conflict; military conflict; humanitarian aid; radicalization
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
City Berlin
Page/Pages 7 p.
Series SWP Comments, 43/2012
ISSN 1861-1761
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications