US intervention in Middle East has a long, difficult history
Current effort to oust Assad follows many failed attempts to topple him
An unmanned aircraft in the Middle East. The history of US intervention in the region might have been avoided if in 1919 US president Woodrow Wilson had acted on recommendations of a commission he appointed to survey Arab opinion on governance following the collapse of the Ottoman empire. Photograph: Getty Images
US political and military intervention in the Middle East began 68 years ago, and has grown deeper and increasingly destructive since Washington’s 1991 and 2003 wars on Iraq.