The political violence market remains cautious for business in the Middle East with newspaper columns headlined daily with news of Syria as it stands on the brink of civil war. The blame for the bloodshed rests on the shoulders of its president Bashar al-Assad, with the death toll now rising to more than of 7,000 people. It appears that sectarian tensions could flare out of control in a country that up until now has been a model of secular tolerance.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Syria sits on the fault line of one of the world’s most volatile regions, with neighbours that include Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon, and there is fear among diplomats that civil war could turn rapidly into a proxy war.
According to reports, neither Washington, particularly with President Obama looking toward the November election, nor London want to get embroiled in committing ground forces. The only real hope currently is that another round of dogged diplomacy can stop the alleged atrocities being carried out by this regime.
The London market continues to see an increase in the number of submissions for business in this country, with few markets looking to commit capacity for full political violence at the moment. Underwriters who are prepared to “take the risk” do so with high rates and small participations. The next six months will see a certain element of caution for most political violence underwriters within the London marketplace.