Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Qusayr and the burden of history in the Middle East

It’s being widely reported today that the strategic Syrian town of Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon, has fallen to government troops supported by Hezbollah fighters.    

A recent commentary in Al-Monitor pointed out that the town is close to the ancient city of Kadesh (Tel Nabi Med), site of a titanic battle between two superpowers, Pharaonic Egypt and the Hittites (based in what is now modern Turkey).  Both empires were trying to extend their territory in Syria.  The Battle of Kadesh was a bloody standoff that resulted in the first recorded peace treaty between the two ancient powers.  It was in 1274 BC.

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