In 2007–2009 a major drought—the worst in forty years—struck northern Syria, the country’s agricultural breadbasket and a region that had already been suffering from loss of irrigation subsidies and water shortages. Syria’s young and fast-growing population meant that over a million people in the region were directly affected by the drought. In “the 2007/2008 agriculture season, nearly 75 percent of these households suffered total crop failure.” Hundreds of thousands left their lands and moved to the cities of Aleppo, Hama, and Damascus. Because Syria already was suffering from widespread popular discontent over political exclusion and corruption, these refugees added to the existing weight of urban misery and anger with the regime. Two years later, when a rebellion broke out in southern Syria, revolt quickly spread to these northern cities and precipitated civil war. The war in turn created millions more refugees, who spread to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and then to Europe, where a sudden surge of over one million war refugees sought asylum in 2015.