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The most important thing for an outsider to understand is that Syria, while ethnically nearly 90% Arab, is made up of a rather large amount of religous minorities. Like most middle-east states, its borders were set up by Europeans during the colonial era, and really paid no heed to any actual cultural boundries. Only about half the population is Suni ...


9

This is an interesting question. With the benefit of hindsight, "Russia" wasn't in a position to help Saddam Hussein in 1990-91 because the Soviet was about to implode. The reason it probably didn't help Hussein in 2003 was that they didn't believe that President George Bush Jr. would invade Iraq; his father, Bush Sr., had declined to march on Baghdad ...


7

Russia was the ally of the socialist Baath party in Iraq, of which Saddam was a member. However, the Iran-Iraq war changed this allegiance. Since during the cold-war there were really only two poles (in military, economic, and ideological power), most countries allied with one or the other. This ultimately became a binary decision, as allying with one ...


6

While other posters have addressed the issue in regards to the wider region, none have addressed the issue in regards to the Syrian citizens. They have mentioned the different Syrian religions so I won't go back over that. The current Syrian ruling family (I am referring to the Assads, not the Baath) is known to be a brutal torturer. Early in the uprising ...


6

Not to dismiss political philosophy, but pragmatism drives most behaviors in goverment- Russia's only warm-water port (also the only one in the Mediterranean) is in Syria. It just got re-built. Russia sells about $5 Billion worth of arms to Syria every year. Syria willingly obliges Russia's pressure to confront Israel when called to do so. "Helping Saddam" ...


5

The dynamics of the Cold War were such that every country outside of the Superpowers were strongly encouraged to take sides. If you were geographically close to one of them, you often didn't have a lot of choice who that was. However, this opened oppertunity for the less ideologically rigid (and less scrupulous) to work both sides off each other to obtain ...


5

Reasons for Arabs starting the war during Ramadan: Arab attacked Israel on October 6, 1973. That year, October was the month of Ramadan. But the main reason for attack on this day was Yom Kippur festival, which was on this day. Yom Kippur also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Arabs were defeated in all ...


4

Found information in this JSOR article*: Georges Clemenceau ceeded Mosul during a Sunday conversation at the French Embassy in London on December 1st 1918. Possibly for one or more of these three reasons: Removal of a source of friction with their British ally, as France's primary goals at the time were Eurocentric. To forestall a complete revision of the ...


3

The first thing that came to my mind: Russia still holds a naval base located in Syria, which is of a special strategic value, as is Russia's the only one in the Mediterranean region. Well, how did Russians acquire it? The desire for warm water ports, suggested by the commenters, dates back to Ivan the Terrible and Livonian War. It was satisfied after ...


2

If we speak about the second Iraq war, Russia dealt with the case of Iraq the same way as it dealt with Syria. They opposed the invasion and did not allow the Iraq invasion in the Security Council, but the USA just bypassed the SC. Russia had no power and/or willingness to prevent the Iraq invasion by military means as this would mean a direct military ...


1

I like the other answer by TED and I upvoted it. But there are things that can be added. First, Syria is the last country in the Muslim world that nominally declares itself "socialist". The other two, Libya and Iraq has been already invaded by the United States and their governments overthrown, so currently only Syria is remaining on the list. In addition ...


1

Syria is one of the few places in which Russian technology is field tested against Western technology on a regular basis. For instance, other than North Korea, Syria has the most advanced anti-aircraft systems in the world. This is often put to the test with Israeli jets. In 2007 I think an Israeli jet did manage to penetrate the air defences, and just a few ...



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