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    (Original post by generallee)
    Shia Muslims hate Sunni Muslims and therefore seek to kill them and vice versa. A faction of Sunni Muslims hates other factions of Sunni Muslims and seeks to kill them and vice versa.

    Some Muslims (mostly Sunni) hate Christians and seek to kill them.

    All Muslims and some Christians hate Jews and seek to kill them.

    Israel and the USA is to blame for all of this.
    Wow. Apparently I hate Jews.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you to everyone offering some insight on this

    (Original post by champ_mc99)
    Wow. Apparently I hate Jews.
    Jew hater

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    It's very difficult to blame a single cause on the issues in the Middle East; there's no point in denying that the Middle East has been a hot-spot since the Middle Ages.

    After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was Europe who struggled & the Islamic Golden Age (widely recognised as the 7-8th Centuries) that actually carried enlightenment forward. Islamic armies occupied much of Spain during this time.
    However, it was Europe that took the lead over both the Middle East & Asia once it recovered from the damage caused by the Black Death. It was about the end of the 15th Century when this happened.
    Due to religion & the general quest for conquering territories, Christianity & Islam came into conflict in the 11,12 & 13th Centuries; both religions wanted to control the Holy Land. The Latin Church encouraged the Crusades during this time.

    What do I think the causes are?
    1) Climate - In comparison to Europe & North America, the Middle East isn't, on the whole, a particularly hospitable climate. I do think that, in some ways, this influenced the religion in the region - alcohol dehydrates you, pork goes off quickly in heat, stay covered up to avoid the worse of the desert sun etc.

    2) Religion - Islam is mostly made up of two sects as others have mentioned, Sunni & Shia. The conflict between these groups has been going on for hundreds of years & shows no sign of stopping as demonstrated throughout the Iraq War.
    Due to the (re)creation of Israel in 1948, many Islamic nations developed a hatred for Jews. No Arab nation successfully managed to take on Israel despite several attempts (1967, 1973 etc).
    Unfortunately, there's also extremists, like ISIS & Al-Qaeda who generally have a hatred of anyone who isn't a Muslim or who doesn't follow their particular (and usually extreme) form of Islam. Certainly extreme forms of Islam are not compatible with values like democracy & human rights meaning that there's always going to be some cultural conflict between the West & Middle East. I'd also add that, unlike the West were taxation & representation goes hand in hand, Middle Eastern countries get most of their money from oil exports rather than tax. This means they have no obligation to represent their citizens in their eyes as they also collect little tax.

    3) The Cold War - from the late 1940s until 1991, both the West & USSR were happy to play different Islamic countries/sects off against each other or against their rival superpower. The US support of the forebears of the Taliban against the Russians in Afghanistan while supplying Israel with the ability to defeat Egypt, Syria & Jordan is a sign of this. Basically, both the USA & USSR were happy to pump weapons into the Middle East for short term gain rather than thinking ahead. The Russians were savaged in Afghanistan while the Americans were attacked by Hezbollah & Libyan sponsored terrorists in both the Middle East & in Europe.

    4) The 1991 Gulf War - Even opponents of the West recognise the successful Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Campaign. Despite training almost exclusively for a war against the Soviet Union in the forests, fields & cities of Western Europe, the West suddenly found itself up against, on paper, the most powerful army in the Middle East - Iraq in 1991 had around a anywhere between half a million to one million men. Although we now look back at the Gulf War with the idea that victory was an absolute assurance, Western military planners were generally worried at the time & Saddam made public his intentions to turn it into American's new Vietnam.
    The fact that the Saudi Arabians invited the US to defend them rather than Islamic jihadists massively upset Osama Bin Laden which & is cited as a major reason he organised the 9/11 attacks on America.

    5) The 2003 Iraq War - I don't think you need too much elaboration here. Needless to say, the 2003 invasion de-stabilised the fragile situation that Saddam had kept reasonably peaceful (although he carried out many atrocities such as Sarin gas attacks on his own people). The resources the USA/UK put into Iraq also took valuable resources away from the Afghan conflict which was actually under control at that point.
    Regardless of who you listen to, the US troop surge during 2007 did succeed in reducing the violence in Iraq. However, whether this was because the militants decided to wait out the Coalition's occupation seeing as the end was in sight when Obama announced US withdrawal or whether the US military, after learning from its earlier errors, was able to help the Iraqi forces secure their country until then withdrew in up for debate.
    It's almost certain that without the Iraq War, there would be no ISIS problem however.

    6) Oil - There's no point in pretending oil hasn't been a factor in the Middle East. Would the West have got involved in 1991 if Kuwait didn't have oil? Quite possibly not. Was oil a factor in 2003? Quite possibly. The fact is that Middle Eastern (mainly Saudi) oil has been essential for both Europe & the USA. Therefore, it's in the West's interests to maintain good relationships with Saudi Arabia, despite its poor human rights record. Western navies regularly patrol the Straits of Hormuz & the Persian Gulf to ensure there's a safe passage of oil tankers. If oil deliveries stop then Western & Asian economies will suffer massively. Hopefully, with an increase in fracking & a move away from oil over this century should largely reduce the West's interest in the Middle East.

    (This is probably rather longer than you were looking for but the fact is there's no simply cause or solution to troubles in the Middle East.)

    You asked about Syria, so here is what the current situation is.

    there are 4 main factions fighting (and maybe dozens of other small unaffiliated groups).

    (1) Syrian Government

    Currently led by Bashar Al-Assad, the son of a dictator who seized power in Syria during the 1960's, he came into power in 2000 and ruled unchallenged until 2011 when protests erupted during the Arab Spring which led to a crackdown and military response.

    Supported by: Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and many other militia groups including Marxists, nationalists, and religious fundamentalists (Sunnis, Shias, and Christians).

    Goal: To eliminate the opposition groups, and establish stability and security in Syria (by any means necessary). I also remember watching an interview from Al-Assad a while back where he promised to transition to democracy once the war was finished, however it is hard to say whether he would actually honor that, and what would happen to Syria if the government wins.

    (2) Opposition Groups

    Led primarily by a group called the Free-Syrian Army (FSA), they were created in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and led by a group of Syrian Officers who defected from the Syrian Army.

    Supported by: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, a coalition of religious fundamentalist groups (primarily Sunni Muslims), regional militias and a US led coalition*

    *Coalition consisting of a group of nations called the 'Friends of Syria' group, who pledged non-military support such as money, and weapons, to
    unspecified militant rebels (likely to be the FSA)

    Goal: many different goals, some are there to fight specific groups such as ISIS, others fight the government, and some are just defending their areas from all groups. The FSA is the primary group though, and their goal is to topple the Al-Assad dictatorship and establish a democratic state.

    (3) ISIS

    A Sunni jihadist group operating in Iraq since 1999*, and affiliated with Al-Quieda until 2014 when they cut ties with ISIS (Due to an internal power-struggle and a lack of cooperation). ISIS then rapidly seized large chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria, and key cities such as Mosul, Ar-Raqqah, and parts of Allepo. They are also currently operating in various countries around the world, and hold territory in Libya too.

    * Though they were operating in the early 2000's, they were mostly suppressed by Saddam Hussein until the 2003 Iraq Invasion

    Supported by: Well, no major group officially supports them, however there are conspiracy theories that they were originally funded by the USA (They gained a lot of power after the Iraq War, and the fall of Gadaffi in Libya, which conveniently lined up with American interests at the time) , and there are allegations that they are supported under the table by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and even Syria. They are also supported by jihadist organizations such as Boko Haram, Jundullah, and the Caucaus Emirate.

    Goal: To establish an independent, self governing Caliphate (An Islamic state to lead the entire Muslim community). They do this through very extreme methods, and are criticized by other Muslims for their over the top, extremist, ideology (they planned to destroy the Kaaba, one of the most sacred sites in Islam, because they called it idol worship)

    (4) Kurdistan/ YPG/ Rojava

    a region in northern Syria, consisting mostly of ethnic Kurdish people, who used the Syrian civil war as an opportunity to establish their own autonomous region. They came to power once the Syrian Army, in response to the civil war, withdrew their forces, which left control to local militias, and eventually the YPG, which is the main military force of the faction.

    Supported by: PKK, Russia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the US coalition against ISIS

    Goal: differing goals, to establish an independent Kurdistan, to fight ISIS, or to simply defend their homes from the civil war.


    Though this is essentially what the conflict looks like primarily, there are a lot of other factors which simply cant be simplified, such as ethnic factors, religious, greed, historical context, backroom deals, etc.

    I'd also recommend looking at this map of the war which should help you to understand where everything is in regards to location, and logistics, and the current status of the war.

    hope this helps.

    (Original post by paul514)
    Jew hater

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    No point in hiding now. I've been exposed.

    Putting all the paranoid "USA, FBI, CIA" tin foil hat wearers asside. Here is a break down of the Middle East in simple terms.

    Afghanistan Invasion
    Invaided by USA + UK for the Taliban's (The government at the time) sheltering and supporting OBL + AQ after 9/11 attack.

    Iraq War
    Invaided by USA + UK on basis of Saddam having WMD's, which it later turns out he didn't. He has used chemical weapons in the past.

    Afghanistand and Iraq were not conquored although they were briefly occupied. They are ruled by their own parliments now.

    Egyptian Civil War
    Arab Spring caused citizens to rise up againt dictator Hosni Mubarak after 40 years of his rule. Uprisers violently repressed. MUbarak removed from power.

    Libyan Civil War
    Arab Spring caused citizens to rise up against dictator Muammar Gaddafi after 50 years of his rule.
    Gaddafi instructed the Army & Air Force to violently repress the uprising. Some military defected. NATO imposed no fly zone.

    Syrian Civil War
    Arab Spring caused citizens to rise up against dictator Bashar al-Assad after 11 years
    (his father ruled for 30 prior to him untill he died)
    The citizens formed the FSA to fight the government. Some parts of the military and civilians remain loyal to Assad and fight it out.
    FSA spit into many factions/became hijacked by more extremist elements.
    NATO did not impose no fly zone.

    Both Libya and Syrian Governments have commited genocide.

    During all this upheval, the weakened nature of the Governments has allowed what is now ISIS (Which has existed since 1999 and was previously part of Al-Qaeda) to get a foot hold in areas of Iraq and Syria.

    All factions are Fighting ISIS and ISIS is fighting all other factions, both government and rebels are still fighting each other as well. NATO countries are also bombing ISIS and don't want to be seen assisting Syria's Assad.

    Russia supports Syria's Assad and says it's bombing ISIS. It is a little bit, but in reality appears to be bombing mainly rebel positions along the frontlines between government and rebel fighters. Russia has a Naval base in Syria.

    I think that just about covers it.

    (Original post by champ_mc99)
    No point in hiding now. I've been exposed.
    Illuminati confirmed

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    It's obviously about religions, hatred,and...egoism.

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    Posted from TSR Mobile
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