It has been three years since the start of the Syrian conflict. What began with peaceful demonstrations in the streets of Deraa has morphed into a nationwide conflict with sectarian, ethnic and regional consequences.
A regime that has run Syria for decades is fighting for its survival and is in no mood to compromise. On the opposition side, a group of disparate forces are united by the common goal of defeating the rule of Bashar al-Assad.
An uprising that was inspired by the Arab Spring is now its most violent conflict, threatening to destabilise an already turbulent Middle East. Since the start of the unrest in March 2011, more than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed and the conflict has also created the world’s worst refugee crisis in 20 years.
It is a situation with no end in sight – and its impact is likely to last for generations.
In this edition of Inside Syria, we try to assess the current situation, the possible outcomes and next steps.
Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault
Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies and a professor at the University of Oklahoma
Amr Al-Azm, associate professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University
Majwoob Zweiri, professor of modern and contemporary history of the Middle East at Qatar University