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Why what happens in Syria is important

After 400 years of Ottoman rule, the region now known as Syria was detached from the dying empire by French and British troops a hundred years ago. After a complex series of maneuvers Syria ended up as a French mandate under the League of Nations mandate system, while the British became the mandate power in Palestine (then including both banks of the Jordan River) and Mesopotamia, now Iraq.

After the end of World War II, Syria became independent in 1946, an event followed by 24 years of total instability, including a four-year period during which there were 10 governments and four constitutions and another few years in which Syria was united with Egypt.

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