The Syrian civil war is a direct result of the Arab Spring phenomenon. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is attempting to overthrow the despotic rule of Bashar al-Assad. The Alawite minority rule of the Assad family has been sponsored by the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. Composed mostly of defectors from the Syrian military, using the Arab Spring which raged across North Africa and the Middle East as their model, the FSA was initially successful in their revolt against Assad but have faltered due to American and Russian intelligence interference. Further, the jihadist forces of al Qaeda affiliates have attempted to hijack the FSA’s efforts to dislodge Assad. The infighting of the jihadist factions has culminated in the formation of the Islamic State’s Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi becoming Caliph Ibrihim. ISIL and ISIS converged and are sweeping across Iraq, threatening the Shiite Maliki government as well in their attempts to formalize the new caliphate from Raqqa, Syria to Baghdad. Vladimir Putin has interceded on behalf of the al-Assad regime, requiring Assad to eliminate his chemical WMD stocks, preempting the Obama administration’s strategic missile strike against Damascus.