Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hama (903)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a fairly small, radical–apocalyptic, even–and highly militarized Islamic sect carves out a chunk of territory, including a sizable piece of Syria, in which to establish its own very political entity that could be described as expansionist, revisionist, even irredentist. They specialize in hit-and-run attacks on their neighbors that maximize civilian casualties, attacks that would certainly meet most definitions of the term “terrorism.” Their targets are chosen to shock ordinary people and to drive home the message of their esoteric interpretation of Islam–to that end, they deliberately seek to damage and destroy physical symbols of cultural and religious significance. The people unfortunate enough to find themselves captured by or otherwise living under the rule of these fanatics often wind up enslaved. Recognized by almost none of its neighbors and opposed by nearly all of them, their emirate nevertheless survives far longer than it probably should, and the fanatics themselves deal out considerable pain and suffering to those neighbors along the way.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Hama (903)

Author: DWD

You can learn more about me here. If you appreciate my work, please consider a one-time or sustaining monthly contribution. If you’ve enjoyed this or any other posts here, please share widely and help build attwiw's audience.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.