-> الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام‎ [[labelnote:Romanization]]Aš-Šaʻb yurīd isqāṭ an-niẓām[[/labelnote]], [[labelnote:Translation]]The People demands the downfall of the Regime[[/labelnote]]
-->-- The motto of the uprising

In December of 2010, a young merchant immolates himself to death in protest of the thuggish policies of the Tunisian dictatorship. This soon leads to protests and, eventually, the dictator's resignation and exile...and the beginnings of a revolutionary wave not seen since the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. The sheer size, importance, multitude of methods, and brutality of the unrest has made it a modern real life showcase of many tropes, listed below.

Unlike the revolutionary wave at the end of the Cold War, though, only one of the revolutions--the one in Tunisia--has successfully established a democracy. However, social changes are taking root across the [[UsefulNotes/TheMiddleEast Arab World]] as people begin to question, and some regimes have made changes to prevent damage; comparisons to Europe's UsefulNotes/RevolutionsOf1848 have begun to appear in the literature.


[[folder:The State of the Countries, as of Writing]]
* {{UsefulNotes/Tunisia}}: Where it all began. Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian merchant, had all his goods confiscated by the police. With little left to live for, he opted to self-immolate as a final act of protest to the regime. Mass demonstrations followed and PresidentForLife Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled not long after. Tunisia is currently one of the few success stories of the Arab Spring, having managed to set up democratic government. It has still suffered a bit in the post-revolution world, having had some terror attacks and instability, but generally speaking it is in much better shape than most of its contemporaries.
* {{UsefulNotes/Libya}}: Tunisia's neighbor to the east did not have it as easy. Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya's dictator, did not follow Ben Ali's example and resign, instead choosing to fight. Rebels seized the city of Benghazi and the military unsuccessfully tried to retake it. After that, all hell broke loose, launching a full-scale civil war. The US and friends led a military intervention as well, providing the rebels with air support. This has caused a lot of contention in the West. After a few months, Gaddafi was captured and killed and his regime fell apart. However, the clean-up has not been so easy. The country was still wracked by civil unrest and violence as various factions tried to gain control. A nominally democratic government was set up, but in 2014 it was split again in a political squabble too complicated to handle here. One is better off looking at [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Civil_War_(2014%E2%80%93present) the Other Wiki]] instead.
* {{UsefulNotes/Egypt}}: Mass protests erupted in Tahrir Square early into 2011, with many inspired by the activists in Tunisia. The dictator Hosni Mubarak ended up resigning, handing the reigns over the military who, to their credit, did transition Egypt to democracy by holding democratic elections. Of course, the military very quickly reversed course when Mohammad Morsi, who was affiliated with the very divisive Muslim Brotherhood, won the election. It didn't take long for the military to overthrow Morsi's new government, replacing him with the director of military intelligence, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in a rigged election. Al-Sisi then massacred Islamist protesters who were demonstrating against the coup and has essentially become another PresidentForLife, [[FullCircleRevolution bringing the revolution in Egypt full circle.]]
* {{UsefulNotes/Yemen}}: Protests started in Sana'a against the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. In 2011, he fled to Saudi Arabia after an assassination attempt, and the government was handed to his vice president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi. Al-Hadi attempted to negotiate with the opposition, but he won some blatantly farcical elections in 2012 and set up a new government. The Shiite Houthis in Yemen -who had been one of the main drivers for revolution in the first place- began to protest al-Hadi's regime, and low intensity fighting occurred. This became high intensity fighting when, in 2015, al-Hadi was overthrown and the Houthis took control. [[{{UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia}} Saudi Arabia]] and co. decided to intervene and are fighting a war against the Houthis, who are allegedly supported by {{UsefulNotes/Iran}}. To add yet another startling twist onto things, exiled president Saleh returned to Yemen and [[EnemyMine sided with the Houthi government against the Saudis]], [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder before turning against them in favor of the Saudis almost three years later]], and then promptly getting killed.
* {{UsefulNotes/Bahrain}}: Opposition groups protested en masse in Bahrain, upset with the current regime. Many of the protesters were Shiites who feel repressed, as even though they are the majority of the native population, the royal family is Sunni. Beyond the sectarian disputes, King Hamad's rule has been fairly harsh and uncompromising. The protests gathered a lot of momentum and it seemed like the monarchy might be toppled, but Hamad hired foreign mercenary groups to come in and restore peace by any means necessary. [[{{UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia}} Saudi Arabia]] and co. also sent support to the monarchy. Subsequent crackdowns have seen thousands jailed. Despite this, protests have sporadically occurred against the Bahraini regime.
* {{UsefulNotes/Syria}}: Easily the worst off of the countries in the Arab Spring, which is saying something considering the state of most of the other countries on this list. The dictator of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, was not having any of this protesting business from day one, and ordered bloody crackdowns on civilian protesters. In response, a part of the military chose to defect rather than firing on their own citizens, and soon a civil war was underway. The civil war has been ongoing since then, and still doesn't seem close to ending. The Free Syrian Army, as it was called, started out as a loose coalition led by the military defectors, but this coalition has largely fallen apart as many Syrians can't agree what kind of regime they want to replace the Assad one with. Many Islamic extremist groups like the Islamic State [[note]]originally founded in {{UsefulNotes/Iraq}} and technically not a component of the original FSA, but it rose concurrently around the time that the other Islamists split off from the FSA[[/note]], the Islamic Front, and al-Nusra, split off from this main force. The Kurds formed a loose alliance with the FSA, creating their own state that is colloquially known as Rojava. Many countries have chosen one side or the other, with the US and its European allies backing Rojava, Russia backing al-Assad's regime, and Turkey backing the FSA. The war also spilled over into {{UsefulNotes/Iraq}}, as ISIS started to conquer territory, and even threatened to take Baghdad at one point. They were eventually beaten back by the Iraqi Army [[note]]with very heavy support from various Shiite militias and their neighbor {{UsefulNotes/Iran}}[[/note]] and Peshmerga[[note]]the name for the armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan[[/note]]. The war has attracted international attention, especially in the media. This was mostly centered around the atrocities committed by the Islamic State, which dominated headlines during its rapid emergence in 2014. However, another extensive point of coverage that has led to ceaseless political division in the west are the war refugees. Around half of the Syrian population have been displaced, and many of them have chosen to flee to Europe. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment It would be better to avoid discussing this issue here and it is known to be incredibly divisive.]]

[[folder:In General]]
* ApocalypseHow: Of the Regional/Societal Collapse variety in Syria and Yemen in particular. Diseases long beaten back have started to return, for example, and the sheer population movement out of Syria has led some in the media to declare that ''there is no Syria anymore''.
* BigBadassBattleSequence: Many throughout the Spring:
** In Iraq, it was Tikrit, Ramadi and Fallujah with Mosul shaping up to be TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
** In Libya, it was Misrata, Tripoli, and Sirte.
** In Syria, it was Kobani, Aleppo, Homs....
** In Yemen, it was Aden.
* BalanceOfPower: While the protests and civil wars et al, are all due to local issues and economics, foreign involvement in these matters is only to possibly change the realities of this trope.
* CoolCar: The technicals involved in the fighting, due to the sheer length of the conflicts, have evolved over time from simple pick up trucks with heavy weaponry bolted to the bed to rudimentary tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. Comparisons to ''Film/MadMax'' have been made more than once in the media.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: In an Arab League summit in 2008, Gaddafi [[https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/north-africa/2011-10-21/death-qaddafi-generation gave one of his famous rambling speeches]] criticising the other leaders (and himself) for standing at the sidelines instead of defending UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein during the 2003 war. His speech was punctuated by a warning that Saddam's fate could soon be theirs. His audience, Bashar al-Assad among them, reacted with ridicule. It is safe to say he was remarkably prescient about the future.
* DeadlineNews: The area is so violent and chaotic that only the hardiest of reporters can broadcast from the heart of the revolution, exposing themselves to severe danger (and the risk of death) in the process.
** Creator/{{CNN}}'s Creator/AndersonCooper was repeatedly punched in the face in Cairo and once refused to reveal his exact location in the city for fear of being captured and killed.
** Creator/{{NBC}}'s Richard Engel was nearly killed by a mortar in rebel-held territory in Libya, and was later ''kidnapped and held for five days'' in Syria -- an experience he was sure he wouldn't survive. Engel, a veteran of multiple military embeds and two decades in the Middle East, is considered the leading expert on the region by pretty much the entire rest of his profession.
** Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times, seasoned journalist who was famous for her eyepatch (courtesy of catching RPG shrapnel to the face when she was covering the Sri Lankan Civil War), was killed in 2012 during the Siege of Homs in Syria. In 2016, her family sued the Syrian government for deliberately targetting her as a journalist.
* DeathOrGloryAttack: The most common strategy among any of the fighting groups in the Arab Spring:
** In Iraq, Daesh's victories in Anbar and Mosul were due to this trope.
** In Libya, during the first civil war, the failure of this strategy kept eastern rebels bottled up.
** In Syria, the government tried and failed with a massive offensive toward Raqqa in mid-2016. The rebels tried the same against Assad's home province the previous year, again to abject failure.
** In Yemen, the Houthis launched a full scale invasion of Aden, the second largest city in the country and the biggest remaining stronghold of their enemies. Unlike other examples listed, they nearly succeeded until the combined militaries of the Gulf Cooperation Council came to the assistance of the beleagured defenders of the city. Sadly, they did not learn from the Houthi's failure and have tried several attempts at this against Sana'a, to no success.
* DemocracyIsFlawed: The argument of those who opposed the removal of the Arab world's dictators by their own people, using the negative effects of the Arab Spring as their proof.
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: In both Syria and Yemen, this has become a common and well documented tactic. In the former, this is part of Assad's Kneel or Starve campaign that was instrumental in capturing cities like Aleppo and Homs. In the latter, both the Houthis and the Hadi regime purposely intercept aid shipments meant for people under the control of their enemies so that they starve, which has led to widespread famine throughout Yemen.
* DisasterDominoes: As described above, it all started with a Tunisian self-immolating himself in protest. His countrymen revolted, and then the rest of North Africa, and then the Middle East...
* DivideAndConquer: To counter the protests and unrest, some of the various governments and entrenched elites tried this tactic, to varying degrees of success:
** In '''Syria''', the government of Bashar al-Assad went about it by releasing all the Islamists they had imprisoned, in the hope that they would hijack the rebellion and help make manifest the propaganda that he had been spouting from the beginning: That there was no rebellion or uprising, that it was instead a terrorist incursion that sought to overthrow the modern and secular state system. The result was the likes of the Nusra Front and Daesh gaining the boost they needed in fighters and ideologues to push the initial rebellion to the sidelines, making Assad's straw man a reality.
** '''Iraq''' did this between the Talabani and Barzani factions of the Kurds to stymie their attempt to secede in 2017. More broadly, the central government in Baghdad would tell minority groups like the Assyrians or Turkmen that they stood to lose in an independant Kurdish state.
** The '''Kurds''' themselves have tried this in both Syria and Iraq, trying (in Syria) to gain the favor of Sunni Arab tribes that had historical emnity with either the tribes that joined Daesh or with Assad. In Iraq, they played on the fears of Sunni minorties fear of Shia persecution to gain their alleigance. In the case of Iraq, it did not work too well when they finally made their move to secede in 2017, but it has so far worked in Syria, at least enough that the SDF controls everything east of the Euphrates.
** In '''Libya''', the tensions are due to strong ''tribal'' influences and high importance on places of origin – the country has largely balkanized along the lines of the old Ottoman provinces that now make up Libya while within each area the local tribe and town dynamics make things even more complicated. The fall of the post-colonial monarchy to the fall of the man who overthrew them were both due to these dynamics, as is the current tribal conflict between the east and west.
** In '''Egypt''', the RevolvingDoorRevolution is largely due to this, with the military raising the fear of political Islam hijacking the state through democracy to allow them to come back to power under El-Sisi.
** '''Yemen''', meanwhile, has a Sunni/Shia split, a strong tribal split, and both are further complicated by the fact that Yemen was once two countries, the southern half of which wants to secede again. "Northern" Yemen, [[NonIndicativeName which is actually the west of the country]], is the smaller but more fertile region in the coastal mountains along the Red Sea with a majority Shia population, "Southern" Yemen (the east of the country, bordering Oman) is the larger of the two but primarily inhospitable desert: it is mostly Sunni, but also has its own tribal separatist movements and, with the port of Aden, is slightly more cosmopolitian. Until his overthrow, Saleh would play the various tribes against one another and bribe the rest with aid money. After his overthrow, Hadi attempted the same, but simply could not pull it off. Now the situation has devolved to where you have the Houthis (Shia tribesmen) and Saleh (secularist former dictator) teaming up against Hadi (unionist puppet dictator) who is aligned with the Hirak (southern seperatist Adenites and tribesmen), with both sides trying to enact this trope against the other. Saudi Arabia's attempt to try this between Saleh and the Houthis led to the former's death.
* EagleSquadron: In the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Syria, there have been reports of Americans and Western Europeans (some whom may have formerly served in the Iraq War) joining the fight against Daesh. In Libya, a lot of sub-Saharan Africans who has benefitted from Gaddafi's largesse joined Gaddafi's forces in a mixture of this and PrivateMilitaryContractors.
* EndOfAnAge: No matter the final outcome of the Arab Spring, it has essentially become a given that the post-Ottoman order of the middle east has been irrevocably changed.
* {{Foil}}: Gaddafi and Assad, in the media and in their respective conflicts. The former was a LargeHam, was in power for decades, dressed strangely, and was almost funny if not for the very real consequences of his actions. The latter is TheQuietOne, had only been in power ten years when the uprising began, dressed in impeccable suits, and comes off as somewhat frightening in interviews. Similarly, Gaddafi fell in less than a year, while Assad is still around almost five years on. Because of how close both of their uprisings were in media coverage, the contrast is even more stark.
* HereditaryRepublic: Syria has been this since the current president's father, Hafez, took power in 1970. It was fear of this happening in Egypt that was one of several reasons the Egyptian people wanted Mubarak gone, and likewise the Yemenis with Ali Abdullah Saleh.
* IHaveManyNames: As the conflicts dragged on, a number of groups have renamed or re-branded themselves to attract more followers or better reflect their goals.
** The self-proclaimed caliphate based in Raqqa officially goes by the name the Islamic State. However, most refer it to the name it had prior to declaring the caliphate, which is translated from Arabic as either the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Before the war it was Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Outside of the English-speaking world however, most refer to it by the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, transliterated as either Daesh, Da'ish, or DAIISH. [[note]]This also has the effect of insulting said caliphate, as the aforementioned acronym sounds close to the Arabic words for "one who crushes something underfoot" and "one who sows discord". For this reason, the caliphate despises the acronym, and punishes its use by flogging or cutting out the speaker's tongue.[[/note]]
** Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria went through a similar process: It started off as Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front). Upon deciding that distancing themselves from the brand of al-Qaeda and becoming a Syria-centric organisation was better for drawing support, it re-branded itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Conquest of the Greater Syria Front). This didn't draw them the support needed and made them more visible. So they re-branded once more, merging with a number of other groups to form Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham (Committee for the Liberation of Greater Syria).
*** Detractors of the group are keenly aware of the re-branding effort and try to invert this trope by calling it "Nusra" regardless of actual name at the time.
* ImprovisedWeapon: In addition to the modified vehicles described above, a number of rebel groups have come up with heavy weapons made from commercial or industrial ingredients available to everyday civilians.
** The most infamous is the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Hell Cannon]] which is effectively a metal tube that launches re-purposed gas cylinders filled with explosives and shrapnel to devastating effect. First created by the Free Syrian Army, they were subsequently adopted by the Islamic State and deployed in Iraq as well.
** The [[ExplodingBarrels Barrel Bombs]] used by the Syrian Government are an example too, as they were created from readily-available material to compensate for the Syrian Army's low supply of precision bombs, which depleted quickly during the first months of the war.
* LegionOfDoom: The (primarily Arab and Iraqi/Syrian) Islamic State has received over 40,000 foreign fighters from Muslim populations all around the world, ranging from other Arabs in countries like Saudi Arabia, to Turkic people from Xinjiang and Kazakhstan, to Iranic people from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, to Chechens and Dagestanis from the Caucasus, to the primarily Berber population of Tunisia.
* MeleeATrois: The wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen have all devolved into this on some level.
** In Libya, there are the warring governments in Tobruk and Tripoli, there is the Islamic State operating in and around Sirte and there is the Benghazi Shura Council who have carved out a small enclave in the titular city. They are all hostile to each other.
** In Syria, there are at least five main sides. The Syrian Government and its allies (Iran, Russia, Hezbollah), the very loosely associated Syrian Opposition (which include a broad swathe of groups, possibly hundreds in total) and its allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar), the Tahrir al-Sham organization (led by Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate), Rojava (consisting mostly of Kurds but also other ethnic groups under the 'Syrian Democratic Forces' banner) and its allies (the United States, various NATO countries), and lastly the Islamic State on its own. The Syrian Government and the SDF are [[EnemyMine on-again off-again enemies who often cooperate]] and the rest just loathe each other. Nowhere is this dynamic more exemplary than in the Aleppo countryside which is the only region where all five groups are in close proximity to one-another.
** In Yemen, there is the Saudi-backed Hadi Loyalist in Aden, the Iran-backed Houthis in Sana'a and splinters of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda occasionally popping around to cause trouble to all other sides.
* NeutralityBacklash: The West (and the US in particular) had collectively made an effort to stay out of the Spring when it first began. However, as the effects of the Spring have spread further and further throughout the world, the West is starting to suffer from this trope.
* PatrioticFervor: In the initial protests, it was this trope that drove people into the streets to fight for change (since the alternative and often only choice before the Spring was to give up on the country and leave for greener pastures), and it was this trope that was used by the more resistant governments in order to discredit any changes asked of them, leading to both poles of the trope.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: Used liberally by the Saudis in Yemen (mostly Colombian), and there are reports of some in Syria fighting on behalf of Assad (mostly Russian before Moscow formally intervened).
** A truly bizarre case (and perhaps a sign of the times) has emerged in Syria in the form of ''Malhama Tactical'', a "Jihadist PMC". A small band of Chechen jihadi fighters decided that instead of squandering their skills (which they say they earned in the Russian Military) on the battlefield, they could train the rebels of the highest-bidding groups. They have good relations with al-Qaeda affiliates and have a pretty robust social media presence with a very ''corporate'' look and feel.
* RegimeChange: The ultimate objective of the Arab Spring everywhere, in one trope. Whether that means the people [[JustForPun change the regime or the regime enacts needed changes]], depended on the country in question....
* TheRemnant: In many parts where Daesh lost the open war, it has resorted to melding into the population and becoming an insurgency just like its predecessor did after 2006. Such developments have already taken place in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and Iraqi officials have expressed concern it can take place there too.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: Given the intense [[PropagandaMachine propaganda warfare]] between sides, not to mention the reliance of citizen journalists who may not always have accurate information, many well known figures have been reported dead numerous times, only to turn out to be alive.
** In Iraq, this happened most commonly with [[RedBaron Abu Azrael]], an Iraqi soldier known for his [[BoisterousBruiser known for his size and passion]]. Every time ISIS reported his death, he would post a video with a timestamp to prove he is alive, then perform some ridiculous stunt.
** Similarly, many renowned ISIS leaders such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, Abu Omar al-Shishani and [[OddNameOut Denis Cuspert]] were repeatedly reported to have been killed at various points. As of 2018, all have been KilledOffForReal except for Baghdadi who may or may not be dead.
** Among the pro-government side in Syria, President Assad, General Hassan, General Zahreddine were either reported to have died or in ill health. As of 2018, only Zahreddine has been KilledOffForReal, but there is a persistent conspiracy theory about Hassan having been killed and been subsequently replaced by an impostor to keep morale levels high.
** Among the rebels in Syria, HTS (and formerly, Nusra) leader Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, jihadist ideologue Muhaysini and Jaish al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush were frequently reported killed. Alloush was KilledOffForReal in 2016. The rest are alive but had some close calls.
* SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic: Has become extremely common since the beginning of the Spring, mostly in areas where the protests devolved into open war.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: In the beginning, when the Arab Spring was a lot more optimistic, revolution-themed videos of this type started popping up on YouTube. The videos would all follow the same general pattern: Taking a speech of the dictator being targetted by revolution, take out key words and phrases, and restringing them into statements calling for their own overthrow, set to popular music. The most famous of them is Zenga Zenga, by Israeli musician Noy Alooshe, aping the dictator Muammar Gaddafi's speech denouncing the revolt in Benghazi.
* SummonBiggerFish: This has happened thrice so far in the Spring as of this entry:
** The first was in Libya, as Gaddafi's forces marched on Libya's second city of Benghazi, with the Colonel himself boasting on national television his intent to level the city for daring to resist him. Soon after, NATO received UN authorization to intervene to protect the city from massacre, eventually leading to a more comprehensive no-fly zone being established over Libya as a whole.
** Second time, in Yemen, when the GCC started sending their own military to directly assist the laughably overmatched Hadi loyalists, whom the GCC was backing to defeat the Houthis and reestablish order and who, sadly for the GCC, were only able to be a CurbStompCushion ''at best''. Naturally, since their direct involvement began, the battlefield has become [[PendulumWar more balanced]].
** The third instance was the direct intervention of Russian forces (particularly air power) on behalf of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. It is unknown as of yet what the consequences will be, with speculation going anywhere from OutOfTheFryingPan to AwakeningTheSleepingGiant to everything in between.
* TunnelNetwork: Sophisticated and widespread tunnel networks were used by nearly all factions engaged in urban warfare resulting from the Arab Spring.
** The Islamic State creates massive networks of tunnels in the cities it controls in order to avoid airstrikes by the US-led coalition or the Syrian and Iraqi airforces.
** In northern Syria, the Kurdish factions use tunnels primarily to move around enemy positions and perform ambushes and retreats more effectively. Kurdish tunnel networks are deployed preemptively to avoid a situation like Kobani where the Kurds were forced into open battle in an urban environment with their backs against the wall, something that did not suit well with their skills in mountain-guerrilla tactics.
** Syrian rebels use such networks to avoid government airstrikes and slow down ground offensives. They have also been known to dig tunnels underneath government positions and bases so that they can infiltrate them or [[https://youtu.be/fAExhzs4qKk blow them up]].
** Auxiliaries and paramilitaries supporting the Syrian and Iraqi armies use these mostly to get around entrenched snipers and gun nests, as they do not have access to reliable airstrikes.
** Although much rarer, the Houthis and al-Qaeda in Yemen have been known to use tunnels to compensate for their lack of anti-air capabilities.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Faida Hamdi [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/tunisia/12054657/I-started-the-Arab-Spring.-Now-death-is-everywhere-and-extremism-blooming.html feels this way]] about herself. When she confronted Bouazizi and confiscated his cart, she could not have imagined how far reaching the consequences of her actions would be.
* UrbanWarfare: The Spring in general has become one of the primary examples of this type of conflict, running the gamut from riots and protests to running street battles with police and paramilitary units to WWII style sieges. Some of the longest sieges in modern military history have occured during this revolutionary wave.
* VehicularTurnabout: In the beginning, the rebels, whatever the country, started out with mere AK-47s and petrol bombs. Now? They drive the government's looted tanks and APCs....
* VelvetRevolution: Despite the bad press the Arab Spring gets these days, most of the time, the protests actually resulted in this trope. Indeed, in places like Lebanon (with their garbage protests) and Iraq (with their anti-corruption protests) in 2015, that is still the case.
* WarRefugees: One of the biggest effects of the war beyond the region proper, at orders of magnitude that are only rivaled by the refugee situation during WWII.

* VoluntaryVassal: Because of the demographic makeup of the island and the relatively small Bahraini Defense Forces not being equipped or experienced to deal with the uprising going on there, essentially became this for Saudi Arabia in order to safeguard the royal family's rule. Bear in mind, it was already this economically before the Spring, due to the lack of its own oil resources, but the uprising tightened the relationship.

* RevolvingDoorRevolution: Started under a military dictatorship, then went under an Islamist government, now it's back under a military dictatorship.
* UniquenessValue: Egypt is actually rather special among the Arab nations for being a non-tribal society. And even though there is a large religious minority in the form of the Coptic Christians, their long history and Egypt's cosmopolitan nature has mostly smoothed over relations between them and the majority Sunni adherants. However, even though they were immune to the usual DivideAndConquer techniques used on their fellow Arab societies, the people of Egypt still had stark ''political'' differences between one another, born out of the very same uniqueness. You see, Egypt views itself as the great lynchpin of Arab civilization, and indeed many have long observed "As goes Egypt, so goes the middle east". It is no surprise, therefore, that the Arab Spring only began in earnest region-wide when Egypt caught the revolutionary wave started in Tunisia. But back to their political differences: This sense of Egyptian exceptionalism led their intelligencia to look toward Kemalist Turkey, their rival and former imperial overlord with whom they viewed as their intellectual equal. Just as in Turkey, the military in Egypt became the guardian of the same ethnicity-centered, secularist ideology that Kemal Ataturk espoused (incidently, this is what led to the rise of Baathism in the rest of the Arab World throughout the ColdWar). However, Egypt was also the heart of Sunni Islamic theology since the medieval era, at al-Azhar. Just as the military saw themselves as the guardian of one path for Egypt, so did devout Egyptians see themselves as guardians of the idea that Egypt was second only to Mecca in importance for Islam, and also looked to Turkey for guidance by example...but of the Ottoman era, not Ataturk. In short, these polar opposite paths for Egypt's future, having already mostly overcome the same social issues as other Arab states, have increased tension against each other for decades, leading to the above trope.

* BigDamnHeroes: A combination of US Airstrikes and YPG ground troops was instrumental in rescuing a large number of Yazidis who were stranded on Mount Sinjar and facing extermination by the Islamic State.
* DarkestHour: The Islamic State’s offensive in the summer of 2014 which saw mass executions across their territories, the expulsion of Mosul’s Christians, the Yazidi genocide, the end of the Kurdish economic boom, and a real possibility that Iraq would collapse.
* TheDreaded: The Hashd al-Shaabi are seen as this by the Sunni-populated areas. Likewise, Daesh for the Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In 2014, many outside observers had written Iraq off as a failed state, going as far as to suggest that Iraq had effectively ceased to exist. By the end of 2017, the Iraqi Government has taken back nearly all its lands from ISIS and has even managed to assert authority over disputed cities such as Kirkuk. The sense of national unity among Iraqis (sans many Kurds who remain bitter over the events in Kirkuk) also seems to be stronger than it was in 2014. Admittedly it is a BittersweetEnding due to lingering issues of reconstruction, reconciliation and corruption. However, even a BittersweetEnding can be deemed a high-point compared to the DarkestHour that was 2014.
* FormerRegimePersonnel: A great number of high-ranking Islamic State members were former members of UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein's government. Lots of speculation abounds on whether they have become "true believers" or are just out to get their lost power back.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the senior-most Shi'a Muslim cleric in Iraq, has always avoided politics and generally preached for reconciliation. His call to arms (which resulted with the formation of the Hashd al-Shaabi) was a sign for many Iraqis that the situation had gotten ''really'' bad.
* PropagandaMachine: A major feature of ISIS which surprised a number of Western media outlets was their modern propaganda apparatus, with slickly produced viral videos to recruit foreign Muslims to come join them.
** The Islamic State was engaged in a charm offensive around Anbar and Ninevah for at least a full year before their 2014 offensive, going to great lengths to earn the regions’ support. It is telling that prior to 2014; even some of the Christians in Mosul had a good opinion of them compared to the government in Baghdad.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified: The Sunni protesters on the 2011 movement went to great lengths to avoid antagonising the government, lest they invite accusations of Ba'athism or Jihadism. The government accused them of such anyway. More extreme groups used this to justify an insurgency. And this trope was soon [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized replaced by another one.]]
* RevolvingDoorRevolution: The locals of Anbar and Ninevah supported the Islamic State in hopes that it would protect them from a government they felt was corrupt and sectarian. They probably did not imagine how bad things would get.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Sunnis, Shias, Kurds and Turkmen [[{{Understatement}} don’t get along]]. And among the Shia, Da'wa, ISCI and the Sadrists have [[{{Understatement}} many differences in opinion]]. But until the Islamic State is gone, they need to work with each other.

* CallingYourAttacks: What eventually got Gaddafi overthrown, when he announced to Libya and the world that he would massacre any who stood against him in Benghazi and everywhere else. That had acted as the catalyst the UN needed to authorize a no fly zone and have NATO carry out an aerial intervention.
* CivilWar: The first one of the several that have resulted from the Arab Spring.
* ConfusionFu: At the onset of the civil war when the protest was showing signs of becoming an insurgency, the Libyan Armed Forces made sound, strategic calculations on what assets to protect and where the rebels were likely to be operating. Unfortunately for them, the [[http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/02/the-gun-smugglers-lament-libya-zawiya-osama-kubbar-qatar-weapons-arms-proxy/ rebels were a disorganized, chaotic mess]] attacking targets that made no sense to attack and just being generally unpredictable. This ended up working to their advantage, preventing the armed forces from predicting their movements and crushing them long enough for the rebellion to gain momentum.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: During the initial war against Gaddafi, as well as the civil conflict that broke out between rival sides thereafter, there wasn't much difference between them in practice. Without his air force, grounded by NATO, Gaddafi's troops only had their green flag to distinguish them from the rebels, who flew the flag of the old monarchy. At present, the rival regimes in Libya differ only in that one is based in Tripoli and the other is based in Benghazi.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Gaddafi, when he was finally captured and already injured from an airstrike just moments before, was beaten and yelled at by the rebels and forced to plea for his life before he was executed with his own gun without trial. He was then put on display for days in a meat locker.
* EliteMooks: Besides Gaddafi's female bodyguards, there's also the infamous "Khamis Brigade" named after one of his sons.
* EmergencyPresidentialAddress: The famous "Zenga Zenga" speech he issued in response to the initial protests.
* GetBackHereBoss: After the fall of Tripoli when Gaddafi fled, the war effort to sweep up the remaining resistance from that point on was just as importantly an effort to chase down Gaddafi before he escaped/regrouped.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The rest of the world really got physically involved in the 2011 uprising after Gaddafi started threatening to blow passenger jets out of the sky if the UN didn't butt out, resulting other countries actively helping the rebels' attempt to bring him down.
** Doubly so, since Libya has actually done this before.
** He was reportedly fearful of military coups against him and deliberately kept his army weak to prevent this.
* JustTheFirstCitizen: Gaddafi's excuse for not leaving power when the protests first started.
* KillItWithFire: During the war he rounded up several dozen of his opponents in a cell and executed them with grenades.
* LargeHam: Gaddafi. It was sort of his calling card.
* LastDisrespects: Once the rebels killed Gaddafi, they did not immediately bury him, per Islamic tradition. Instead they laid his body out in the middle of a meat freezer (alongside one of his sons who had been killed with him), without bothering to remove his blood stained clothes or clean him up. Then they invited journalists and random onlookers from around the world to take as many photos as they wished.
* LastStand: Benghazi, just before the NATO intervention.
* LastVillainStand: After the brigade in charge of defending Tripoli surrendered without a fight, Gaddafi was considered an Anticlimax Boss for a time, until his remnant made their stand in his hometown of Sirte, where they resisted the rebels for nearly a month. He was killed as the city fell.
** The loyalists sure put up one helluva fight - according to That Other Wiki, the total number of rebel casualties is six times higher than that of the loyalists. And the loyalists were greatly outnumbered, too (1,000-5,000 vs. 16,000 rebels).
* MouthOfSauron: Moussa Ibrahim was Gaddafi's chief spokesman, and often briefed the international media during most of the conflict, only disappearing when Tripoli itself fell, leaving those same reporters he used to brief every day at the mercy of [[TheRemnant the loyalist guards]] at the hotel, who held them hostage for days until the Red Cross negotiated their collective release.
* NearVillainVictory: His forces were at the outskirts of Benghazi before the NATO airforce showed up.
* NoOntologicalInertia: Gaddafi died, and the Libyan state died with him.
* PathOfMostResistance[=/=]RevealingCoverUp: Making headways into Sirte with no sign of Gaddafi, the rebels begun speculating that he might have already left the country. And then they stumbled on a loyalist safehouse that put up a much tougher fight.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeBureaucratized: After Gaddafi's fall, the National Transitional Council (consisting mostly of dissidents and intellectuals and ex-bureaucrats) tried to stabilize the situation, with only limited and distant support from the very nations that brought it to power, and even less support from the rebel groups distrustful of any authority. The result was this, leading to Libya's current situation.
* SmallTownRivalry: The post-Gaddafi era of Libya has, broadly, been defined by the rivalry between the cities of Tripoli (Libya's capital and largest city, located in the west) and Benghazi (birthplace of the revolution and largest city in the east). The city of Misrata, third largest in Libya, is sometimes counted as a seperate player, as are the non-Arab tribal towns in the far south of the country. It is this rivalry that has led to the resumption of hostilities within Libya as Tripoli seeks to reimpose its will while Benghazi fights for local automony and federalization of the country and Misrata fights merely [[ItsAllAboutMe for its own interests]], usually teaming up with Tripoli when it suits them.
* ShrineToTheFallen: In order to prevent this, Gaddafi's body was not buried in his home town of Sirte, as per the family's wishes, but at a random location in the desert somewhere.
* TheSiege: The city of Misrata, third largest in Libya, was under siege by Gaddafi's forces for most of the war. Not only was it one of the most iconic events of the war itself (with many comparisons to the likes of Stalingrad at the time), but the rebels [[DecisiveBattle breaking of that siege was the turning point of the whole war]], with Gaddafi on the retreat from then on.
* SanitySlippage: Just when the world thought the guy couldn't get any crazier, he started ranting about the uprising against him by his own people being fueled by Zionist agents, imperialist foreign powers and LSD, note while accusing the Western countries of orchestrating the whole thing in an insidious plot to destroy Libya's air conditioners.
** This was just the tip of the iceberg for this trope. The more his power slipped, the more his sanity devolved. Many dictators get hit by this pretty hard when their power is threatened, and Gaddafi just fell significantly faster than most.
** Of particular interest is the speech he gave while sitting in a broken car in a blown up building holding an umbrella, a large part of which was him commenting on the rain. No, we don't get it either.
** After being deposed, he issued an epic rant which just screams this trope. In it he made three very conflicting points at once, including basically saying "fuck you" to Libya while encouraging them to rise up and rebel against the, well, rebels.

* AggressiveNegotiations: In what was known as "Kneel Or Starve", Assad would surround a rebellious neighborhood or town, pummel them with artillery, and prevent any food from getting in or any people from getting out...until the rebels in question, starving and no longer able to fight, surrendered. Sometimes the rebels (without weapons) would be allowed to leave, and sometimes they'd be locked up instead. This tactic was later used by the rebels themselves, whenever they'd takeover a loyalist or ISIS-held town. The UN has since declared the practice a war crime.
* TheAlliance: One involving Iran and Russia and Assad on one side and Saudi Arabia and the West for the rebels on the other. Both view each other as actually being the makings of TheEmpire instead.
* AmazonBrigade: The Syrian Kurdish militias have made it a point to show that a LOT of their fighters are women. They fight in their own units as well as with the men.
* BalkanizeMe: Consider that the Kurd militias have carved out a hold on the entire eastern bank of the Euphrates river (with some western backing), a possible territorial claim may be expected in the area - but beware of the Turks.
* BetterTheDevilYouKnow: The Syrian Alawites put up with Assad not because they have any love for him, but because they fear they will be systematically persecuted by a Sunni-majority regime. This is also increasingly the attitude of the international community towards Assad.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: When Bashar al Assad took over his father Hafez's role as Syria's president, everyone thought he'd reform the government and make it democratic. He didn't, but he also was a lot less antagonistic toward his own people, so it was assumed when the Spring began there, that'd he'd buckle immediately (he was popular enough that people weren't calling for his ouster initially, just reform) and Syria would go the path of Algeria. Sadly, he proved that just because he wasn't a LargeHam like Gaddafi, who had fallen around the time the revolt in Syria began in earnest, didn't mean he wasn't as (and, as history has shown, ''more'') dangerous than the Libyan dictator.
** Syria itself was viewed as something of a HufflepuffHouse in the region before the war. It certainly was involved in regional politics and had a colourful history of its own but its affairs were often overshadowed by the politics of Iraq, Turkey, Israel/Palestine or Iran. Few people expected the war to have such a ''massive'' international impact.
* BurnBabyBurn: In an effort to hide exactly ''how many'' bodies they've accumulated from their [[NightmareFuel activities]] in Sednaya Prison, the regime has constructed a giant crematorium to dispose of them.
* ButtMonkey: The Kurds. Both in Syria ''and'' Iraq.
* CivilWar: And one of the most brutal ones in recent memory, with at least 300,000 dead and 11 million chased out of their homes (and half of THEM are now refugees elsewhere).
* ColonelBadass: All sides have invoked this trope to some extent, attempting to portray well-known military figures as paragons of military virtue. Loyalist General Hassan seems to play to this most consciously though, mixing it with GoodLookingPrivates and RatedMForManly.
* DeadlyGas: The war has seen the use of sophisticated chemical weapons on a scale unseen since perhaps the Iran-Iraq War.
** An unknown party used deadly Sarin nerve gas in August of 2013, prompting the international community to force Assad (the prime suspect as to who perpetrated the attack) to relinquish his chemical arsenal. This, unfortunately, hasn't stopped most factions from creating and using simpler and cruder chemical weapons, like chlorine and mustard gas.
** It happened ''again'' in April 2017 when a Sarin attack took place in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib. Once again, Assad was held as the prime culprit and yet again, conflicting evidence by all sides muddied the waters as to who really was responsible.
* DesertWarfare: Unlike the verdant coast, much of central and eastern Syria is made of deserts, collectively called the Syrian Desert (Badia al-Sham). This actually came to bite the government forces in the ass: After training in the Mediterranean climate for years due to expecting a war with Israel, it did not have any HomeFieldAdvantage in the vast deserts of the inland.
* EliteMooks: Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force for Assad, former Saddam-era Iraqi military and Chechen militants for ISIS, and Al-Qaeda for most of the rest of the rebels.
* EnemyMine: All parties involved in the conflict have been accused of collaborating with each other at one time or another. Sometimes this meant ganging up on a third party, other times, it was to trade for basic necessities like food and electricity. Usually ended with YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.
** This is what brought the Daesh to power in Raqqa. First it teamed up with all rebel groups to oust the government forces. Then it teamed with Jihadi factions to oust the moderates. Then it turned on the other Jihadi factions.
** Some rebel factions have been known to team up with others to launch attacks on the government or Daesh forces, only to split from the offensive and leave the others to their mercy. This has taken place often in Hama and Damascus' Ghouta District.
** Eastern Qalamoun Mountains were the only region where the FSA and the Syrian Government forces cooperated against Daesh. In early 2017, the FSA made large gains against the Daesh in the region, threatening to link up with the rebels in the Syrian Desert. Realising the balance of power had shifted, government forces went on the offensive against the FSA.
* ExplodingBarrels: One notable tactic of the war has been the Syrian Air Force's use of metal drums packed to the brim with explosives and shrapnel and then dropped on a populated area as a poor man's unguided bomb.
* GameChanger: Russia full stop. Russian planes and logistical help has, all Things considered, kept the Assad government in Place, and also helped the SAA getting a lot of momentum on the ground. As of January 2018, the IS and adjacent groups are all but wiped out from most of their hideouts.
* GambitPileup: On the geopolitical side, every major power involved has stubbornly followed its own strategy in the war to the exclusion of the rest, leading to this trope, with the further possibility (even if still remote) of escalating into something worse.
* GenghisGambit: Assad has repeatedly tried this. His first attempts were by opening up his prisons holding suspected jihadis in the beginning stages of the civil war, in the hope they would form their own group. That it had GoneHorriblyRight is an understatement here. Once Daesh (and a stronger Al Qaeda) were around, Assad would then deliberately ignore them so that they would get stronger, hoping the rebels would fight them instead. This was only partly successful. Once the Russians became involved, this practice ended.
* GovernmentInExile: Technically has one, called the Syrian National Council, but no one has really paid them any heed since it became clear early on that negotiations would be fruitless and the SNC had no connection to (or loyalty of) any rebel forces in the field.
* GraffitiOfTheResistance: The start of the Spring in Syria is attributed to a brutal overreaction of Assad's security forces to a bunch schoolkids spraying pro-Spring graffiti in Daraa, and the resulting ire of the public. They became the collective [[IconOfRebellion icons of the uprising that followed]], which soon devolved into the brutal civil war it is today.
* HellholePrison: Sednaya Prison, located in a suburb of Damascus. In February 2017, Amnesty International estimated that anywhere between 5000 and 13,000 people were executed there between 2011 and 2015. The description of the conditions there reads almost word for word like the trope's description.
* HyperCompetentSidekick: General Suheil al-Hassan is widely considered to be TheAce of the Syrian Army and has been credited with turning the tide of many battles even though he wields little political power compared to the likes of Maher al-Assad. There are signs that [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority this is changing]].
* InsistentTerminology: Although the war is referred to as the ''Syrian Civil War'' among most international sources and observers, [[NotSoDifferent the government and the rebels both refuse to refer to it as such]], as it would imply that the other side has "civil" (grassroots) support. The government refers to the conflict as "Anti-terrorist operations" against "foreign-backed mercenaries" (or other, similarly-clinical variants) while the rebels refer to it as the "Syrian Revolution". Also expect news sources from both sides to refer to the opposing side as [[YouKeepUsingThatWord "terrorists"]] regardless of actual affiliation.
* MexicanStandoff: The Siege of Aleppo in 2016 devolved into this when the government and rebel forces simultaneously besieged each-others' holdouts in the city. [[https://twitter.com/aronlund/status/762769055405240320 Some analysts]] have actually referred to the trope by name.
* NamesTheSame: In late-2017, a Sunni Jihadist rebel group by the name of Ansar al-Furqan announced its formation. Much confusion ensued not only because [[ShroudedInMyth nothing else was known about the group]] but also because the group bore the same name as a Sunni Jihadist rebel group in ''Iran''. Eventually, the Iranian group issued a statement claiming that [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DL72X8qX0AAsu9I.jpg it has no links whatsoever]] to the Syrian one.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: In a very twisted way, this is what kept the Syrian government from collapsing through years of conflict. Despite ongoing detente, the West was quick to jump ship from Syria when the war broke out (as they had done with Libya prior). On the other hand, Russia and Iran have supported the government even at times when pulling away would have proven more beneficial for them. As a result, Putin has become very popular among government's supporters in recent times.
* ShroudedInMyth: Because the war in Syria has gone on the longest of the Arab Spring conflicts, several personalities have made themselves well known to observers of this conflict, particularly in the pro-Assad and Kurdish camps, but the other factions have them as well. Generals Suheil al-Hassan and Issam Zahreddine for the Syrian Aran Army, Commander Abu Layla for the Syrian Kurds, and Abu Mohammad al-Julani of Jabhat al-Nusra (now renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) among them. In Julani's case, this was deliberately invoked, appearing in videos with his face covered and his appearance unknown to all but his closest associates. This was likely done to avoid being tracked but it did make him a borderline-mythical figure.
* SitcomArchNemesis: While the actions of Russia and the United States are based on important calculations and objectives and are quite serious (and deadly) in their effect on the situation on the middle east in general and Syria in particular, the media in both countries has, with varying levels of glee, taken to depicting the Obama-Putin relationship in this manner because of the Syrian conflict.
* SixthRanger: Turkey, consciously playing both sides.
** After the failed July 2016 coup in Turkey, Ankara has warmed up to Russia considerably.
* SoftSpokenSadist: Bashar al-Assad is notoriously softspoken and comes off as very cold in interviews, especially given the direction of the war these last few years.
* StormingTheBeaches: The Kurdish-led SDF, with the help of US special forces, made an amphibious landing across Lake Assad to pincer attack the Daesh-held Tabqa Dam that held back said lake.
* TakingYouWithMe: A popular slogan among Assad's supporters is "Assad, or we burn the country". The implication being that should Assad fall from power, his followers will [[SaltTheEarth enact a scorched earth policy]] that denies the rebels even the most [[PyrrhicVictory pyrrhic of victories]]. They have definitely shown themselves willing to follow through with this threat, with the relentless bombardment and starvation of anywhere that fell out of their influence regardless of the human cost.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: This is one of the reasons Daesh has lasted as long as it has, despite making enemies of practically everyone.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Before the war, Bashar al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were not just fellow heads of state but close friends, leading to the emergence of the affectionate meme "My Brother Bashar" that highlights the mild {{Bromance}} the two leaders had. Five years on, the two are the bitterest enemies of the war. It is hard to tell how Erdogan feels about this but Assad's bitterness is obvious. Among the foreign backers of the rebellion, Erdogan is the only person Assad labels a "psychopath" and a "maniac".
* WholePlotReference: Many in the media are taking note of the increasing similarities between the proxy nature of this conflict and the one from the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar.

* EarnYourHappyEnding: Tunisia is thus far the only nation that went as far as to overthrow its pre-Spring government to actually come out okay without devolving into CivilWar like Libya or going into FullCircleRevolution like Egypt.
* IconOfRebellion: The death of one young merchant became the signal that started the revolt in Tunisia and then across the region.

* AnarchyIsChaos: The revolt against President Saleh distracted the military enough that there is now a four way war between Al-Qaeda, the Houthis, the Southern separatists, and the government.
* AshFace: Early in the uprising when Saleh was still president, someone tried to assassinate him with an explosion. It failed, but not before injuring him in such a way that many noted this trope when the first images of him post explosion came out. [[http://img.timeinc.net/time/photoessays/2011/top10_autocrats/salih_yemen.jpg Before]] and [[http://static01.nyt.com/images/2011/07/11/world/middleeast/YEMEN/YEMEN-popup.jpg after]]. Though it earned a chuckle from his enemies and neutral observers, it did require him months of therapy to heal.
* BookEnds: Some thirty years ago, Ali Abdullah Saleh found himself elevated to political power thanks to the assassination of his predecessor and his ability to [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder change allegiances with minimal repercussions]]. In 2017, he was assassinated by the Houthis after his latest scheme to shift his support from the Houthis to the Saudis backfired spectacularly.
* CadreOfForeignBodyguards: Hadi himself and his ministers are guarded by Emirati troops rather than his own army.
* DefiantToTheEnd: If you are a northerner in the south or a southerner in the north, do not expect to win over the locals unless you already agree with them. As a national cliche as well, Yemenis are known to be this to any outsider in general, which has made the Saudi strategy of trying to bomb them into submission backfire horribly.
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: Due to the Saudi blockade of Yemen, both literal and economic, Yemen's banking system has seized up and therefore can no longer pay for food...or recieve them even if they could. This has led to 19 of the 22 governorates food insecure and 10 of those at the brink of outright famine.
* DidntSeeThatComing: Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had a well known reputation in the region as a wild card who routinely betrayed any erstwhile ally who no longer suited his purpose, had decided to play that same card again with the Houthis who he had allied with at the start of the Yemeni Civil War. Unlike every other time he has tried that in the previous four or five decades of his political career however, the Houthis were on to him from the start, eventually leading to Saleh being HoistByHisOwnPetard by getting himself executed for treason once he publically broke with the Houthi ranks and tried to join up with the Saudi coalition. His faction, afterwards, was too stunned for words beyond that of his sons vowing revenge.
* EnemyMine: Before his ouster from power Saleh and the Houthis had been at each others throats. After he lost the Presidency he allied with them, and brought the military units still loyal to him to fight for them, the results were their rapid advance across the country. The same can be described for Hadi's loyalists and the southern seperatists, with the former only being able to stay on the battlefield because of the latter's willingness to fight, while the latter was only able to hold out because of the former's supplies and money.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Prime Minister ([[TheMainCharactersDoEverything and Vice President]]) Khaled Bahah, from most reports, was considered more popular, more respected, and more competant than Hadi, his superior. Indeed, most saw him as a worthy successor to lead Yemen should the war ever conclude with the government still standing. Naturally, this irritated Hadi and led to a tense relationship between the two until Hadi finally and unceremoniously sacked Bahah in favor of a nameless pencil pusher as prime minister and Major General Mohsen as vice president. The trope tends to apply to Mohsen as well, who is now more powerful than Hadi himself in practice. Former president Saleh, for his part, saw himself this way vis a vis the Houthis, but for once, he ended up being WrongGenreSavvy, to fatal results for himself.
* MiddleEasternCoalition: The Gulf Cooperation Council (consisting of the Gulf monarchies and [[AndZoidberg Jordan and Morocco]]) created a MultinationalTeam of the regional militaries to assist the Hadi government and local anti-Houthi militias in the civil war. This task force numbers anything from 4,000 to 10,000 strong and, if successful, may lead to the formalization of this force to protect the Arabian Peninsula. Only Oman has opted out (while non-GCC members Egypt and Sudan have opted in).
* ThePlague: Though it is not uncommon for long-suppressed diseases to make a return to war torn regions, Yemen is unique among the nations affected by the Arab Spring in that it is, as of the summer of 2017, dealing with a cholera epidemic ''of a scale never seen in the world before'', affecting (as of this writing) 200,000 people, with about 5,000 new cases a day and 1,200 confirmed deaths, a quarter of them children. With Yemen's medical system considered ramshackle ''at best'' before the war, it is now utterly non-existant, and as such the epidemic is unlikey to stop until the war (itself currently in stalemate) ends.
* PuppetState: The Hadi gov't, even after Aden was liberated by the Saudis, still operates in exile from Riyadh. Indeed, one of the primary reasons the Houthis give for their rebellion (the others being anti-terrorism and anti-corruption) is that the government is this.
* RevolvingDoorRevolution: The people overthrow Saleh and appoint Hadi. The Houthis then overthrow Hadi and appoint themselves. Then the Saudis attempt to displace the Houthis to reappoint Hadi again. And thats not even getting into the intentions of the southern seperatists or Al Qaeda.
* TheRival: Hadi's attempts to eliminate this possibility [[WhatAnIdiot ended up either creating them or making the situation worse]]. First was the attempt to sideline General Mohsen, at the time the head of the First Military District that included all of former North Yemen. This led to Mohsen resigning and going into self-exile, allowing the army's loyalties (never really with Hadi) to wander toward their former boss, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and his new allies the Houthis. Second happened when Aden was secured by his Saudi backers. Within a few months, he fired his more popular and able prime minister, Khaled Bahah, appointing Mohsen in his place, leading to a further sinking to his popularity among the local populace. Thirdly was in 2017, when he fired Aidirous al-Zubaidi, the governor of Aden, whom he himself had appointed. Al-Zubaidi then proceeded to promptly turn around and declare his allegiance to the Southern seperatist movement, which he soon became leader of on account of promising to recreate South Yemen....and denouncing Hadi.
* RockBeatsLaser: The Houthis in particular have managed to pull this off for years, even before the Spring, but they really showcased this when they managed (with help from Saleh, their former foe) to continue a massive advance into hostile southern Yemen while Saudi Arabia was bombarding them...to almost no effect. It was only when the Saudis and Emiratis sent in their own troops into the fray that any headway was made at all.
* TheQuisling: What many, if not most, Yemenis view President Hadi as, especially since the Saudi intervention began.
** Even his own supporters are only using him for resources (since he's the one getting money from the Saudis)
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: What are normally called "pro-Hadi" or "loyalist" forces by the media actually comprise of several factions whose intentions are blatantly at cross purposes with one another. The representative faction, those loyal to President Hadi, have been mostly wiped out by the Houthis. The main local force involved with the "loyalists" are actually southern separatists. The tribes in the east and center are barely involved in the fighting at all, and are only considered loyalist because they have not taken an active side on the conflict...and those who have are now with AQAP. The Coalition of mostly foreigner militaries are the only faction keeping the "loyalists" in the fight. The tension between these entities is a major reason why they continue to lose against the more isolated Houthis. The Houthis themselves had to deal with this with regards to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his faction, eventually leading to their formal split and Saleh dead.

!!The Arab Spring in fiction:

* Creator/MichaelBay's ''Film/ThirteenHoursTheSecretSoldiersOfBenghazi'' is based on the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'':
** The episode "Deadline" featured the team trying to track down a Libyan nationalist who was broadcasting pro-rebel television spots. Ironically, by the time the episode aired (October 11, 2011), Gaddafi had been overthrown two months earlier, and was killed a little more than a week later (October 20).
** Another episode featured industrial espionage in the form of Turkey attempting to steal tech for communications satellites, apparently spurred on by fears the Arab Spring could spread to Turkey (they were hoping to derail such grassroots movements by interfering with communications).
* The ''Series/{{Castle}}'' episode "[[Recap/CastleS4E15Pandora Pandora]]" states that Dr. Nelson Blakely's used his "linchpin theory" (finding a small event that will set dominoes falling on a larger one) to start the Arab Spring.
* ''Series/MadamSecretary'' references both sides of it repeatedly.
** "Another Benghazi" deals with an uprising outside the US embassy in Yemen ending in a bombing, similar to the Benghazi attack [[spoiler:except the ambassador is successfully extracted by PrivateMilitaryContractors hired by Liz]].
** "Catch and Release" prominently features an American-born member of Daesh, inspired by British-born Mohammed Emwazi.
** "Sea Change" has the Tunisian ambassador guilt-trip Liz regarding the fact that the Tunisian revolution actually succeeded and the US is neglecting them; Liz and Dalton ultimately make plans to replace a storm-damaged naval base in Bahrain with one in Tunisia.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* An as-of-yet unpublished prequel to the Website/YouTube series ''WebVideo/TheRoadGypsy'' stars an inexperienced Francis Easton and Cecil Banning as they travel to Egypt just before the uprising, then find themselves trying to get out before they are killed.