War made easy: Helpful, ‘simple’ color chart ‘explains’ Syria conflict

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad  © SANA
Conflict theorists and terror experts can pack up and go home: one researcher has finally devised a "simple" chart to comprehensively explain away the complexities of the Syrian War.

While the graphic created by Charles Lister - a fellow of the Middle East Institute in Washington - is described as “simple”, the zigzagging colorful lines are pretty mindboggling.

The chart is a ‘who’s who’ of forces fighting against each other in the conflict.

Lister’s chart has sparked discussion online about the usefulness and over-simplification of the chart.

Questions have also been raised regarding omissions from the chart.

This is not the first attempt to dumb down the complexities of geopolitics in the Middle East via a handy graphic.

Karl Sharro, Middle East commentator and satirist, created a parody diagram of the region last year, which many took at face value.

“I was surprised at the number of people who made factual comments or corrections, which the diagram clearly doesn't represent accurately," Sharro told the Independent at the time.

Sharro has taken to Twitter again, in what appears to be a response to Lister’s “simple” chart: