Former CIA agent to Benedictine: Assassinations, war and subterfuge have shaped the Middle East
May 1, 2017 4:57 PM -
Former CIA agent Robert Baer discussed the Mideast at Benedictine University April 27. Syria matters because it is emblematic of problems in the Middle East, Baer said. "The civil war was started by drought in Syria," he said. "A lot of people were forced into the cities." This drought, which caused 75 percent of Syria's farms to fail and 85 percent of livestock to die between 2006 and 2011, according to the United Nations, drove as many as 1.5 million Syrians from rural areas into cities.