As Assad hangs on, Turkey confronts failure on Syria

Andrew Parasiliti writes: Turkish President Abdullah Gul said this week that Syria is becoming the “worst-case scenario that we’ve all been dreading.”

The shelling across the Turkish-Syrian border, now entering its seventh day, gives further testimony, as if any were needed, that Turkey’s Syria policies have failed and that the civil war in Syria is also a regional, sectarian war, with no end in sight.

Turkish intervention in Syria is unpopular and Ankara may be desperate to end it. A clear majority of Turkish citizens oppose intervention in Syria, according to a recent poll. Just two years ago, Turkey prospered under a “good neighbor” policy with Syria, Iran and Iraq. Now Turkey has problems along all three borders.

Any clear-eyed assessment of the battlefield does not foresee President Bashar al-Assad stepping down or being forced to step down anytime soon. Assad is committed to staying in place until constitutionally mandated elections in 2014, and he has not yet decided whether he will run in those elections. Russia and Iran have no interest in letting his regime fall. [Continue reading…]

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