Prelude to destruction: Know your nation-state (Syria edition)

This article on 9 things you should know about Syria has been making the rounds lately.  And yet, I think there’s more that you should know!  Try starting off by reading these more in-depth articles on Syria.  Just a taster:

Syria faces challenges to its geopolitical integrity beyond those posed by its religious and linguistic diversity. Like Iraq, it owes its statehood and geographical boundaries largely to the actions of European imperial powers in the early 20th century. Modern Syria essentially covers the area grabbed by France from the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The territory was officially awarded to France as a “mandate” by the League of Nations, with the provision that it would be prepared for eventual independence. French control, however, had already been as promised in a secret British-French war-time agreement—infuriating Britain’s Arab allies, who had cleared Ottoman forces out of most of the region during the conflict. As can be seen in the maps, the British-French partition ignored the Ottoman Empire’s administrative districts.

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