...Middle East @ War 45, from Helion & Co
Title: Syrian Conflagration
Author: Tom Cooper
Publisher: Helion & Co
This is a revised version of number 45 in the Middle East @ War series from Helion Books, and covers the Syrian Civil War during the period of 2011 to 2013. An 86-pages soft-cover book, presented in the usual style for the series.
It starts with a look at the background of Syrian history, a subject I know only little about but have a few photos from my father when he spent time in Syria during WW2, including some old photos of Palmyra. Up to date then, as the revolts of the Arab Spring erupted in a number of countries in the Middle East. In Syria the book explains how the conflict developed between 2011 and 2013 as the regime of Bashar Al-Assad fought back, with the might of the Syrian military. While it is considered a Civil War it soon expanded beyond that. Outside forces came into play, as both Iran and Russia stepped up support for the government and the rebel opposition split into factions. If that wasn't enough then the Jihadist group of al-Qaida saw the opportunity to take advantage of the confusion to establish their own Islamist territory. As well as the interesting text explaining things, there are plenty of data tables, such as listing the units and equipment of the Syrian Air Force, but there are a lot of colour photos, useful maps and a set of 9 pages of fine colour profile artwork, featuring both ground vehicles and aircraft.
What we see is a conflict that spread beyond the simple borders of Syria and the complexities of the conflict are well explained. The whole thing is all very sad in my personal view, as Syria deserves some peace after all the years of upheaval. Overall an interesting book and another good addition to the series.
Thanks to Helion & Co for our review copy.