Syria's civil war has entered an explosive third phase. Radical Islamist forces now lead the military campaign against the Ba'th Party-led regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The Islamists compete with one another for popular backing, but have alienated the general public by fighting with other militias and assaulting minority communities. In response, Kurds and Alawis have created armed formations to protect their co-religionists.
Professor Fred Lawson will discuss how growing sectarian divisions within the conflict in Syria resonates with sectarian mobilization in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon and threatens to spread the war across state boundaries.