As outside powers launch missile strikes on Syrian ground targets, here is a rundown of those involved in the civil war.
Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham
Natasha Ezrow, University of Essex
Moritz Pieper, University of Salford
Since September 2015, Assad’s fate has been tied even closer to Russian policy planning, and has forced the West to talk to Russia as a “Great Power”, one considered as much a shaper of the rules of international politics as the US.
Edward Wastnidge, The Open University
Alpaslan Ozerdem, Coventry University
Cengiz Gunes, The Open University
A new US-led action against Assad could benefit or hurt the cause of Syria’s Kurds – but with the US’s long-term strategy so unclear, it’s hard to give a prognosis yet.
Balsam Mustafa, University of Birmingham
Beverley Milton-Edwards, Queen’s University Belfast
The NATO allies
Simon Smith, Staffordshire University
We condemn in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons and call on the Syrian regime and its backers to allow full and unimpeded access to international medical assistance and international monitoring.
But while this statement implies some semblance of unity between NATO members, the reality is that, while not on the scale of divisions caused by the Iraq war in 2003, Syria has truly split the alliance.
NATO considers the use of chemical weapons a threat to international peace and security.
And those responsible must be held accountable.
We must do all we can to protect the ban on the use of chemical weapons.