Syria is a badly fractured entity haunted by a multiplicity of identities and cultures - which has been ruled for decades by a multi sectarian, minority-ruled dictatorship that was held together by an iron fist under the secular baathist ideology. It is strategically located in West Asia bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south and Israel to he southwest. Oil rich West Asia grabbed eyeballs of imperialist powers, who intend to control the region as well as the vast oil reserves.