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Posts Tagged ‘ethnic cleansing’

Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-style Breakup?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

Even if the regime loses its grip on growing swathes of territory, the civil war’s sectarian dimension could see it opt to retreat into enclaves controlled by its base of Alawite, Christian and non-Sunni support.
AP

AP
Smoke billows over Damascus, Syria, July 18, 2012

“This is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday, following the Damascus bombing that lacerated the inner circle of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. “And for that reason it’s extremely important that the international community […has] to bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what’s right — to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition.” Panetta’s concern is understandable, because the escalating civil war means that Syria is not only no longer under the effective control of the Assad regime, but that its outcome is increasingly beyond the control of the U.S. and its allies or any other international powers. Needless to say, Panetta’s prescription for maximum international pressure on Assad to step down appears to be wishful thinking. The same may be true for the Obama Administration’s idea of a “managed transition” in which the opposition cooperates with a regime that remains intact after Assad has been removed.

Russia remains firm in its opposition to Western efforts to press for Assad’s ouster. “If we are talking about a revolution, the U.N. has no business here,” said Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, according to Businessweek. “Assad won’t quit and our Western partners don’t know what to do.” Indeed, the latest violence in the capital renders even more remote the soft landing envisaged by Panetta and by the best-case peace scenario of U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan. The denouement of the Assad regime is likely to be nasty, brutish and not especially short. Read the rest of this entry »

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