This course definitely helped me better understand the ongoing Syrian Civil War. I realized that opposition to Assad was nearly unanimous among most Syrians but didn’t realize that those opposing him are so divided. These forces not only oppose Assad but also each other. As a result of all these factions, they have been unable to topple Assad and stop the genocide he is waging against his people.
This seems to be a common theme across the Middle East since the Arab spring in 2010. Other groups have risen to oppose radical regimes in their own countries but have struggled to topple dictators because of infighting. Religion, particularly varying sects of Islam, contribute greatly to this difficulty.
Similar to Israel, I think the United States could play a meaningful diplomatic role but should be wary of military intervention or foreign aid. Because of the factions and religious disputes, it is best that the U.S. only have a diplomatic role.