In this paper I will seek to explore, examine and eventually explain the role of sectarianism in creating and escalating the civil war in Syria. The match that lit the Syrian Civil War was the detention
and alleged torture of a group of teenagers who wrote anti-regime graffiti on a concrete wall, this escalated into violent protests that involved the sacking of a number of local government buildings that served
as symbols of regime power and therefore as symbols of Shiite power. The government in Syria responded by sending in the fourth armoured division to crush the revolt, the fourth armoured division is an almost all Shia division and the military successor of
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After Hafez Al Assad was elected president, he solidified the dominance of the Baath party in Syrian politics and created a state and security apparatus so centralized that individual unit commanders reported to him. Hafez Al Assad was an Arab
ethnic nationalist, he viewed himself as an Arab and a Syrian before any sectarian identity, this was the case with most of the Baath party elite, but a consequence of his centralization of power was that he had to ensure those around him were loyal, and the
best way to do that was to surround himself with friends and family, and those fries and family were almost all Shiites ; whether intentional or not, this had a powerful reverberating affect throughout the country, the downtrodden, economically and socially
impoverished Shiites of Syria had come to dominate the countries military, political and economic life in under a decade, this was a source of deep anger for many Sunni Syrians who felt disenfranchised and under presented in a country that they are the clear
The Shia-Alawite dominance of Syria did not end or diminish over the years, it greatly expanded, this planted the seeds of revolutionary fervour among many of the countries Sunnis long before the current conflict. The conflict in Syria soon spiralled from
minor clashes on a local level between Sunni and Shia Syrians in a rural part of Daara to a brutal and bloody sectarian civil war that encompassed the entire country and everyone living in it, the escalation of violence and death was gradual, but the current
outcome was predicted by many analysts both Western and Arab from the very start, they pointed to the sectarian nature of the rebellion and the sectarian nature of the regime as proof that there was only one direction for the conflict to take as time went on.
The sectarianism in Syria was amplified to a previously unseen level by the intervention of non Syrian foreign forces, for the Sunni rebels help came from...