The ever-shifting balance in Syria

As Bashar al-Assad attempts to regain his footing by leading a counterattack on insurgents, few would disagree that events on the ground, including the death of several high-ranking Syrian military officials, has changed the balance and emboldened the opposition.

Alan George argues in the Independent that the power vacuum that exists in Syria at the moment favors Assad. Acknowledging the beginning of a new phase in the war, George says the disunity within Syria could delay Assad’s departure.

“In addition, Christians, who constitute around 10 per cent of the population, continue to be broadly supportive of the regime, fearing the Islamic fundamentalism that is a major strand in the rebel movement.

“The Kurds, however, making up another 9 per cent of the population and concentrated in the north and north-east, detest the regime. But they have their own nationalist agendas involving autonomy or even independence,” he writes.

Alan Kaplan, a fellow at the left-leaning New America Foundation, asserts thta almost every scenario going forward will lead to continued violence.

Whatever develops in the next week or month, the region has a secondary problem to deal with – a massive refugee problem. For Iraqi refugees in Syria, the nightmare of war is a mere sequel.

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