~~October 15, 2015~~
ONE VERY HOT MESS
After four years of Syria’s war, no end in sight
Syria’s rebellion has been derailed by ISIL and waning Western support, but rebels say they haven’t lost fight
Four years ago, tens of thousands of Syrians who took to the streets during the first days of rage against 40 years of authoritarian rule by the Assad family. The protests, demanding democratic reform, were peaceful, but the regime cracked down violently. Many anti-regime activists responded by taking up arms, and full-scale war soon erupted.
After the deaths of more than 220,000 people, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains unmoved, and the struggle for control of Syria has devolved into a multifaceted war with no clear endgame in sight.
Regime forces have only accelerated their use of internationally prohibited barrel bombs and other brutal weaponry against rebel fighters and civilians alike, according to human rights groups. And so far, Assad’s key allies have been steadfast. Russia’s support on the U.N. Security Council has been crucial, recently blocking a referral of Assad to the International Criminal Court for war crimes, and Iran has been a steady source of funds and fighters, sending Iranian militias — along with Lebanese Shia Hezbollah fighters — against the Syrian rebels, who are mostly Sunni.
The international community has all but abandoned the idea of peace talks after several summits in Geneva — involving rebel factions, the regime and both sides’ foreign benefactors — ended in failure last year. The leading Western-backed opposition faction, the Syrian National Coalition, insisted on Assad’s departure as a condition for any talks; Assad, of course, dismissed that notion out of hand.
Absent a surge in Western support for the rebels, however, many analysts feel Syria is heading toward a situation in which Assad retains control of most of the important population centers, from Damascus in the south to Lattakia along the Mediterranean coast, while various armed groups, including ISIL, fight over the rest. In effect, Assad could turn into Syria’s “strongest warlord,” Lund said.
“I think the idea is that Syria will not be a united country for a very long time to come, if ever.”
That outcome is not what the 2011 revolutionaries had in mind. Ahmad, the former Revolutionary Command spokeswoman, said her side is trying to convince the world that the uprising against Assad is everyone’s war. ISIL, she noted, has ambitions of expanding beyond its current territory in Syria and Iraq.
“Syrians feel the world has abandoned them,” she said. “But maybe when you have nothing left to lose, you become more determined to fight to the end.”
Meanwhile, millions of refugees are burdening Syria’s neighbors, who fear their guests will become a permanent and destabilizing presence unless the war ends.
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~Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why~
~Published on Oct 14, 2015~
Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.
We ALL are ONE!!