22 March 2012
Dr Christopher Phillips has spoken to CNN about the anti-government uprisings in Syria, focusing on the role of the Arab League and international community. He says: "The presence of [Arab League] monitors served to galvanize the opposition, and we saw an increased number of demonstrations and anti-government activity during that time period."
Dr Phillips also comments on the religious aspects of the uprising: “President al-Assad belongs to the Alawite Muslim sect while Sunni Muslims form the majority in Syria. The older Sunni merchant class that feel the city is theirs rightfully are now turning on the Alawites, who they see as these recent migrants that don't actually belong in the city.”