John McHugo

John McHugo is the author of Syria: A Recent History and is currently writing a comparative history of Zionism and Islamism. A fully updated edition of his Concise History of the Arabs was published last November.

How Syria collapsed

In April 2018 I was taken on a coach through miles of war-wasted urban landscape in the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Homs. They looked much like the photos of Gaza today, except the shattered streets were always empty and sometimes there were longhand Arabic signs chalked crudely on broken concrete slabs: ‘for sale’, or