SNAHA SÝRIE ZÍSKAŤ POSTAVENIE REGIONÁLNEJ MOCNOSTI NA BLÍZKOM VÝCHODE 1970 – 1976
Syria´s effort to gain the status of a regional power in the Middle East 1970-1976
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The Arab defeat at the hands of Israel in the June War prompted a period of soul-searching throughout the Arab world and led, in the case of Syria, to the overthrow of the existing regime. In Syria Hāfiz al-Asad seized power in 1970 and his regime represented the rise of new elites of rural origins at the expense of the established urban politicians and merchants. The regime was authoritarian, basing its power on the military and the Bacth Party. The sole ruler held absolute power and became the object of a personality cult. The regime adopted socialist economic policies and stood for egalitarian reform. For Hāfiz al-Asad, the persistent conflict with Israel took precedence over all foreign policy considerations. He believed that it was Syria’s duty to resist the Israeli threat and work in the cause of Arab unity. His regional policy was popular in Syria and helped to solidify his domestic position during the early years of his rule. However, his embroilment in the Lebanese civil war undermined his reputation both at home and in the wider Arab world. On 18 October 1976, Syria and the PLO accepted a cease-fire drawn up by Arab heads of state, and the worst of the fighting came to a halt. The terms of the agreement provided for the stationing of an Arab deterrent force to maintain law and order. In reality, the force was composed almost exclusively of Syrian troops whose presence enabled Hāfiz al-Asad to continue his efforts to shape the Lebanese situation to suit the needs of Damascus. However, his forces had become bogged down in a costly and indecisive military occupation.
81 – 93
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