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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Essential background on the Syrian conflict

As congress debates potential U.S. military intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war, much of the American media coverage lacks a historical perspective. Icarus Films distributes two titles concerning the country's political history:

SYRIA: CHESS MATCH AT THE BORDER examines Syria's strategic position in larger Middle Eastern geopolitical struggles. Bordering Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, the nation has operated as both a player and a pawn.

SYRIA: THE ASSADS' TWILIGHTproduced at an earlier, more hopeful moment in the current conflict, analyzes the regime of both Assads. Hafez al-Assad ruled the country with an iron fist from 1970 through his death in 2000. His son, Bashar al-Assad, was supposed to be different. A western-educated doctor, he inspired hopes for a freer, more humane leadership when he took control of Syria following his father's death. But after the shortly lived Damascus Spring, he clamped down, banning all opposition and resuming the tyranny that characterized his father's rule, and which has led to the present situation.

Both films provide the essential historical background to today's conflict.

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