Syria was once one of the Middle East's most stable states. Today it is a country on its knees. Almost 200,000 people are estimated to have died in its bloody internal conflict and, as the violence intensifies, Syria's future looks bleak. In this timely book, Samer Abboud provides an in-depth analysis of Syria's descent into civil war. He unravels the complex and multi-layered causes of the current political and military stalemate - from rebel fragmentation to the differing roles of international actors, and the rise of competing centers of power throughout the country.