What started as mainly a socio/ economic straggle of the people against an authoritarian government rabidly turned in to a sectarian, religious conflict that its implications we will not be able to assess for years to come.
The cautious stance adopted by the international community and Western powers, facing their own domestic problems and “tired” by two long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the involvement of regional powers has turned the conflict in to a proxy war.
On one side Saudi Arabia and Qatar, defenders of Sunni Islam, along with Turkey that sees an opportunity for its influence to grow within the region while at the same time trying to deal with its own domestic threats, namely the Kurdish issue and the potential implications a destabilized Syria could have.
On the opposite end Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon, all three of them Shiite and aligned politically to each other, joined by Russia that still bears the memories of the Chechen conflict and is troubled by a possible revival of Islamic militant groups in its own back yard.
As the flow of resources in rebel held areas continues to be limited, the various factions have begun to splinter as they compete for funding and influence while fighting a brutal war against the government.
Militant Islamic groups were quick to identify and capitalize upon the power vacuum, by way of successful military operations and by replacing government structures in liberated areas providing the civilian population with some sort of continuation and normality.
With many militant groups openly supporting an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law and moderate voices pushed to the sideline, civilians are watching unable to influence events while the drums of war are echoed all over the country.