Pressure of war is causing Syria to break apart

The New York Times reports: The black flag of jihad flies over much of northern Syria. In the center of the country, pro-government militias and Hezbollah fighters battle those who threaten their communities. In the northeast, the Kurds have effectively carved out an autonomous zone.

After more than two years of conflict, Syria is breaking up. A constellation of armed groups battling to advance their own agendas are effectively creating the outlines of separate armed fiefs. As the war expands in scope and brutality, its biggest casualty appears to be the integrity of the Syrian state.

On Thursday, President Obama met in Washington with the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and once again pressed the idea of a top-down diplomatic solution. That approach depends on the rebels and the government agreeing to meet at a peace conference that was announced last week by the United States and Russia.

“We’re going to keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and working with the Syrian opposition,” Mr. Obama said. “We are going to keep working for a Syria that is free of Assad’s tyranny.”

But as evidence of massacres and chemical weapons mounts, experts and Syrians themselves say the American focus on change at the top ignores the deep fractures the war has caused in Syrian society. Increasingly, it appears Syria is so badly shattered that no single authority is likely to be able to pull it back together any time soon.

Instead, three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis.

“It is not that Syria is melting down — it has melted down,” said Andrew J. Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of “In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle with Syria.” [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “Pressure of war is causing Syria to break apart

  1. rosemerry

    Why are you giving us this disgusting NYT/WINEP take on a serious destruction of a sovereign State, encouraged by the USA and beneficial only to Israel?

  2. Paul Woodward

    It’s not the function of this website to cater to the prejudices of its readers. And anyone who actually believes that the breakup of Syria will serve Israel’s interests must have a few screws loose. For decades, Bashir al-Assad has done a wonderful job of maintaining peaceful relations with Israel. You think he’s part of an “axis of resistance”? What a joke!

  3. Timothy

    After the fact, the break-up of Syria does not appear to be in Israel’s interest. Assad was targeted as a means to defeat Hizbullah and Iran. Assad will go, but the so-called liberal NYT and WINEP are servants of US foreign policy.

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