Assad Regime’s Drought Response Triggered Syrian War

Assad Regime’s Drought Response Triggered Syrian War (via Environment News Service)

NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands, February 28, 2014 (ENS) – The long drought that gripped Syria from 2006 through 2010 was a trigger of the conflict that has torn the country apart with devastating consequences, finds new research from a Dutch scientist.…



7 Responses

  1. sawsan jabri

    one of painful fact is that Assad regime caused desertification in #Syria … It was an example of a country that went through that

  2. I beg to disagree; I don’t deny Syria’s problems and Assad’s regime shortcomings nor do I deny Arab spring in Syria and the regimes violent reaction to it. But what caused the blood bath in Syria was the way Arab spring was conducted in Libya. Personal distaste for its leader and its foreign policy toward the custodians of freedom and democracy. Little did they know that Syria will not be Libya act II. NATO air force did not show. Russia and China at UN stopped the legalization of aggression upon her. As men, money and weapons was poured in by the ideological gulfers, as they did in Libya, other actors got involved. No amount of whitewash is going to explain why Syria, Libya. Egypt, Bahrain and Tunisia turned out so different.

  3. Ms Chatel did an impressive amount of first hand research on the water and drought conditions, walking the land herself, interviewing farmers and those who fled the eastern rural areas for the cities in search of work. That was her focus.

    What was not her focus, or given a lot of consideration, was the political situation stimulated by the Arab Spring and the rolling effect of liberal revolutions, or apparent revolutions, in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen.

    Syrians attuned to Al Jazeera were as intimately knowledgeable with the daily revolutionary events in Tihrir Square as were the people of Egypt.

    As far as Ms Chatel’s analysis goes, the Arab Spring may not as well have even existed and the Assad Alawi government may as well have been a liberal democracy which, however, mismanaged the water resources.

    But he Assad regime was not a liberal democracy. It was a repressive police state, in which political dissent was met with midnight arrest and incarcerations without due process which not infrequently consisted of torture and degrading conditions.

    It was a state dedicated to the control of the government by the Assad family and his Alawi clan.

    Many people of Syria felt it was their turn for democracy.

    • The Assad regime’s response to the drought was only one factor in the equation.

      The ongoing wholesale human rights violations and the massacre of 30,000 in Hama in 1982 following a Muslim Brotherhood revolt in that city are the reasons I have heard from Syrian expatriates living in the United States as why there is a civil war.

    • William,

      While I agree with many points you argue; Ms Chatel made a very good argument about the culture of the regime and how its mismanagement of the situation led to the bloodletting we see today.

      I quote for above:

      The humanitarian crisis that followed the 2006-10 drought can thus be seen as the culmination of 50 years of sustained mismanagement of water and land resource

      That is a very good point she makes that it took a prolonged period of nearly half a century of backwards baathi mismanagement led to the humanitarian crisis. However I would go further and argue that the 50 years of sustained management of the country’s affairs and the brutal oppressiveness of the regime has led to the humanitarian crisis we see today.

      Lastly, while the Assad regime is largely dominated by Alawites, it is incorrect to label as such for there are many non-Alawites in support and part of the regime.

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