The Arab Winter is a term for the wide-scale violence and instability evolving in the aftermath of the 2013 Arab Spring protests in Arab League countries. The Arab Winter is referring to the events across the Arab World, including the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi insurgency, the Egyptian Crisis, and the Crisis in Yemen. Political developments, particularly the restoration of authoritarianism and suppression of civil liberties, in Egypt since 3 July 2013 have been described as constituting a "military winter" that functioned in opposition to the goals of the Arab Spring. The arenas of Lebanon, Libya and Bahrain were also identified as areas of the Arab Winter. Libya was put as a scene of the Arab Winter, together with Syria, by Prof. Sean Yom. The Northern Mali conflict was often described as part of the "Islamist Winter".
The Arab Winter is characterized by the emergence of multiple regional civil wars, mounting regional instability, economic and demographic decline of Arab countries, and ethno-religious sectarian strife. According to a study by the American University of Beirut, as of summer 2014 the Arab Winter resulted in nearly a quarter of a million deaths and millions of refugees.
According to the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, as of January 2014, the cost of Arab Winter upheaval across the Arab World is some 800 billion USD. Some 16 million people in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are expected to require humanitarian assistance in 2014.
The Syrian conflict began with protests against president Bashar al-Assad. After armed conflict broke out, support for Islamist groups such as the al-Nusra front grew as other groups like the Free Syrian Army were accused of corruption and criminality. This war has also created spillovers in Lebanon and Iraq.
Events have taken place in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and institution of military rule from al-Sisi in an anti-Muslim brotherhood campaign. Various militias and tribes have started fighting in Libya after a breakdown in negotiations. Changes have also occurred in Tunisia involving a change in government.
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- ^ a b "Egypt & Tunisia’s new Arab winter", Euro news, Feb 8, 2013.
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