The fundamental problem is cultural inasmuch as it is both tribal and heirarchial and out really means out and exploited as well. Islam does nothing to change this either. Thus each faction throws up gunmen and exploiters all looking for the best chance. Joining Islam clearly does not change this at all.
Syria and Iraq have both slid back into this natural barbarian trap and are simply unable to pull out of is at all because the peacekeepers or better the peacemakers all went home.