American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

The Logic of Urbicidal Terrorism and Its Implications on the Protection of Civilians: Lessons to be Learned from Syria
Awni Shati Etaywe

Never before has the subject of urbicide been more present in the media and social networking sites; however, this kind of violence against the Syrian cities is never unprecedented. This three-fold article aims to help understand and learn what motivates the systematic visible urbicide in Syria, what threats against civilians are ensuing, and what actions could be taken for the protection of civilians (POC). To this end, a threat-based analysis coupled with a historical analogy is conducted, drawn upon Etaywe’s taxonomy of forms of terrorism and cycle of terrorism-drivers, and Graham’s view of asymmetric urbicide. Results show that urbicide in Syria is a multifaceted destructive form of conventional state-sponsored and non-state actor-executed terrorism. It is a strategic option adopted principally for political reasons to intimidate and humiliate targeted homogeneous groups of population, and to deprive their affiliated opposition from any satisfactory geopolitical and demographic settlement. Urbicidal threats are multi-dimensional and expected to end in changing the character of Syrian cities. The nature of perpetrators’ drivers and resulting threats entails the need to have a ‘comprehensive POC in urbicide’ strategy developed and adopted. This study provides implications for peace and security studies, social and political studies.

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