B. V. DOLGOV
Candidate of Historical Sciences
Center for Arab and Islamic Studies IV RAS
Keywords: Syrian crisis, patriotic opposition, armed Islamist opposition, Western goals, information war, political solution
The Syrian crisis, which began in March 2011, has taken on the character of a global conflict, in which the interests of both States representing regional centers of power and great Powers collide. At the same time, external support for the armed Syrian opposition, represented mainly by Islamist groups, and the presence of thousands of jihadists from all over the world in their ranks stimulated the emergence of a hotbed of radical Islamism in Syria. This, in turn, contributed to the formation of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) here and in Iraq and its expansion in the region.
The Syrian crisis can be considered as a specific, special part of the"Arab Spring". Social protest, which was the initial stage of the "Arab Spring" in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, was caused by internal factors, the socio-economic crisis, corruption, police brutality, the nepotism of the ruling elite for decades, and the lack of real democratic freedoms with ostentatious "facade democracy".
At the same time, in Syria (as in Libya), although there are less internal problems, the main reasons for the ongoing crisis are external factors, namely, the support of the armed opposition by external forces that are trying to use the Syrian conflict to achieve their strategic goals.
SYRIA BEFORE THE 2011 CRISIS
It is necessary to emphasize that the socio-economic situation in Syria before the conflict began in many ways differed for the better in comparison with such countries as Tunisia and Egypt, and could not by itself cause an internal social explosion and armed confrontation. The unemployment rate, although it rose from 8.4% in 2010 to 15% in 2011.1, was nevertheless lower than in Tunisia and Egypt, where unemployment, especially among young people under 30, re ... Читать далее