Erdoğan says Syria’s oppressors will not survive

Today’s Zaman reports:

Declaring that the time of autocracies is over, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan stated on Friday that the autocratic regime in Syria will collapse just like those in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

“I was in Tunisia yesterday; I greeted people who carried out the Jasmine Revolution. Two days before that, I was in Egypt and I greeted people who have initiated the Arab Spring. Today, I am with you,” Erdoğan said, addressing an enthusiastic crowd on Martyrs’ Square, which was renamed from the Gaddafi-era Green Square. When the crowd chanted slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdoğan said: “Those who repress their own people in Syria will not survive. The time of autocracies is over. Totalitarian regimes are disappearing. The rule of the people is coming.”

The New York Times reports:

Increasingly convinced that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria will not be able to remain in power, the Obama administration has begun to make plans for American policy in the region after he exits.

In coordination with Turkey, the United States has been exploring how to deal with the possibility of a civil war among Syria’s Alawite, Druse, Christian and Sunni sects, a conflict that could quickly ignite other tensions in an already volatile region.

While other countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Damascus, Obama administration officials say they are leaving in place the American ambassador, Robert S. Ford, despite the risks, so he can maintain contact with opposition leaders and the leaders of the country’s myriad sects and religious groups.

Officials at the State Department have also been pressing Syria’s opposition leaders to unite as they work to bring down the Assad government, and to build a new government.

The Obama administration is determined to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq. Though the United States did not stint in its effort to oust Saddam Hussein, many foreign policy experts now say that the undertaking came at the expense of detailed planning about how to manage Iraq’s warring factions after his removal.

Syria is sure to be discussed when President Obama meets Tuesday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the periphery of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, administration officials say. A senior administration official said the abandonment of Mr. Assad by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and European nations would increase his isolation, particularly as his military became more exhausted by the lengthening crackdown.

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