Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Barry Rubin: Will the Rebels Win Syria's Civil War and What That Means

by Barry Rubin
The tide seems to be turning in Syria. While the civil war is far from over, the regime is clearly weakening; the rebels are expanding their operations and effectiveness. There have also been more high-level defections. What does this mean and why is this happening?

There are three main factors that are making a rebel victory seem more likely.
  • First, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with Turkey’s facilitation and U.S. coordination, are sending arms to the opposition.

  • Second, the regime has been rushing the same trusted units around the country to put down upsurges and these forces are getting tired and stretched thin.

  • Third, President Bashar al-Assad really has nothing to offer the opposition. He won’t leave and he can’t share power. His strategy of brutal suppression and large-scale killing can neither make the opposition surrender nor wipe it out. Even if he kills civilians and demonstrators, the rebel military forces can pull back to attack another day.
Even though the fighting may go on for months, then, it is time to start assessing what outcomes might look like. Here are some suggestions:
Continue reading Will the Rebels Win Syria's Civil War and What That Means

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand  Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media 

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