An unprecedented analysis of the crucial but underexplored roles the United States and other nations have played in shaping Syria’s ongoing civil war
“One of the best informed and non-partisan accounts of the Syrian tragedy yet published.”—Patrick Cockburn, Independent
Syria’s brutal, long-lasting civil war is widely viewed as a domestic contest that began in 2011 and only later drew foreign nations into the fray. But in this book Christopher Phillips shows the crucial roles that were played by the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar in Syria’s war right from the start. Phillips untangles the international influences on the tragic conflict and illuminates the West’s strategy against ISIS, the decline of U.S. power in the region, and much more.
Originally published in 2016, the book has been updated with two new chapters.
Christopher Phillips is Reader in International Relations at Queen Mary University of London and associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. He lives in London.
"Philips . . . argues in a lucid and readable manner with a good balance of facts and anecdotes, that while domestic triggers and the wider impact of the Arab Spring may have caused the crisis, it was maintained by 'external powers being unwilling to prioritise ending the conflict over their own wider geopolitical agendas.'"—James Denselow, New York Journal of Books
"This is the best work to date that focuses on the regional and international dimensions of the Syrian conflict. Christopher Phillips' research is meticulous, with both depth and breadth in large part gleaned from his interviews with top officials and representatives from most of the stakeholder states and groups in the war. A must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the multidimensional complexities of the conflict."—David Lesch, author of Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad
"Syria's horrific civil war has been profoundly shaped by the competitive interventions and proxy wars by external powers. The Battle for Syria offers a brilliant, essential account of the international dimension of Syria's descent from uprising into insurgency and brutal state violence. This sober and judicious book will become a standard text for those seeking to understand Syria's tragedy."—Marc Lynch, author of The New Arab Wars: Anarchy and Uprising in the Middle East
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