This guide will provide an overview of the Syrian conflict. It will briefly cover the history of the conflict, the humanitarian crisis, the major actors in the conflict (Bashar al-Assad's government, ISIS, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army, Russia, the US, etc.), and current news. The war is extremely complex with a multitude of different internal and external actors, so this guide will provide a series of resources, reports, maps, videos, and infographics to help explain it and provide information for those seeking to understand it.
Use the tabs above or the links below to navigate your way through our guide.
The Syrian conflict (also referred to as the Syrian Civil War) sprung from protests and revolts in the wake of the Arab Spring in early 2011. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, unlike the autocratic rulers of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, was not forced from power. He launched a series of violent reprisals against protesting peoples and areas. This escalated the conflict, which soon spiraled into a brutal civil war. Millions have since been displaced and hundred of thousands have died. The conflict has drawn in numerous outside actors that have attempted to influence, or benefit from, the conflict.
The Middle East and North Africa collection (MENA) at the University of Illinois is a part of the International Area Studies Library. Our collection covers the region through the rise of Islam to the present and is developed to support the University’s centers and departments that offer courses related to the Middle East, North Africa, and the Islamic world.
The collection covers various disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences and includes languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Kurdish, Turkish, English, French, German, and Spanish. To locate non-Latin script language materials please follow the guideline set by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association, ALA-LC Romanization Tables.
This website is by no means a complete representation of the vast MENA collection however it serves as an entry way and portal to the digital and electronic resources available in the field.
If you have any questions or comments about using our collection, or wish to submit requests for new materials please contact Laila Hussein, Middle East & North African Studies Librarian.
Laila Hussein Moustafa