Syrian Conflagration

The Syrian Civil War, 2011-2013 [Revised Edition]

Tom Cooper

Drawing on extensive research, including first hand accounts it provides a compelling overview of the first three years of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Middle East@War
Illustration :
119 color photos, 27 color profiles, 4 maps, 1 diagram, 4 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781915070814
Pages : 96
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Syrian Civil War experienced an entirely unexpected transformation during its first two years. It started as unrest and a series of mass demonstrations within the Syrian population in the context of wider protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, known as the Arab Spring. Unlike events in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, where oppressive governments were toppled by the end of that year, the government of Syria deployed the full force of its military, its intelligence apparatus, and paramilitary groups, launching an unprecedented crackdown that resulted in the arrest, detention and killing of many thousands. Despite its brutality, this effort backfired: it provoked mass desertions of the Syrian military and then an armed uprising.

The emerging insurgency was generally successful through 2012, although failing to capture Damascus, it secured more than half of Aleppo and Homs, the provincial capital of Raqqa, and nearly all of north-eastern and north-western Syria under its control. Although propped-up by economic and military support from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, the government of Syria was nearing the brink of collapse during the first half of 2013 when, prompted by Tehran, Hezbollah – a Shi’a Islamic militant group and political party from Lebanon – entered the conflict on its side. Soon after, Hezbollah was reinforced by significant contingents of Iranian-sponsored Shi’a from Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, followed by volunteers from Iran, including crack units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Meanwhile, already split along the lines of Syria’s complex demography, much of the insurgency transformed from a secular and non-sectarian movement into proxies of various foreign powers, foremost Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but also Turkey and Kuwait. Furthermore, foreign Jihadists motivated by al-Qaida joined the fray, aiming to establish an Islamist state and clandestinely cooperating with the government, they fell upon the insurgency.

Thus, an extremely complex conflict – which then not only spilled over the border into Lebanon, but had a major impact upon Iranian-Saudi relations, and relations between the West, Iran and a number of Arab countries – came into being, the outcome of which was anything but predictable.

This revised edition of Syrian Conflagration draws on extensive research, including first-hand accounts, and provides a compelling overview of the first three years of the ongoing conflict in Syria. The book features 120 full-color photographs, 27 full-color artworks and four color maps.

About The Author

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialization in such Middle Eastern air forces as of those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, plus various African and Asian air forces. Except for authoring and co-authoring more than 30 books - including about a dozen of titles for Helion’s @War series - and over 1000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defense-related publications.


“The picture-packed effort includes 18 of the author's superb color profiles – nine aircraft and nine armored vehicles. They'll certainly stimulate your modeling muse… Make this superb summary your introduction to the ongoing carnage in Syria. Then hope that Cooper pens "Middle East@War" sequels on the conflict since 2013. Roundly recommended!”

- Cybermodeler

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