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The Renewed 'Struggle for Syria': From the War 'in' Syria to the War 'over' Syria


Syria is generally considered a case of non-intervention. One of the dominant (since the 1990s) kinds of intervention, namely multilateral humanitarian intervention, failed, as did other attempts by a select group of countries to implement a ‘red line’ concerning the use of chemical weapons. However, in this case, there is no sharp dichotomy between intervention and non-intervention. In lieu of an intervention that would tilt the balance and coordinate help to halt massacres, various rival and uncoordinated international and regional interventions overlapped over time, fuelling a market for violence. ‘Weakened interventionism’, as opposed to principled and hierarchical intervention, has manifested itself in Syria in a model recalling “the struggle for Syria” of the 1960s in a new, contemporary setting.
Keywords: Syria, humanitarian intervention, non-intervention, multilateralism, proxy war, weakened interventionism