Toby Matthiesen is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. His book Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn’t will be published by Stanford University Press in July 2013.
June 12, 2013
Pictures of Hezbollah militants standing amid the ruins of al-Qusayr, the former Syrian rebel stronghold, have offered dramatic evidence of the extent to which foreign Shia fighters are shifting the course of the Syrian war. But Bashar al-Assad is head of an ostensibly secular regime and many Shia think that Alawites are heretics. Why exactly is Hezbollah getting involved, and is this conflict really rooted in religion?