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Jul 16 2012

Syria could go anytime now

It could happen today, or Assad might delay this push and buy another month or three. But the Arab Spring that began in Tunisia and swept through Egypt and Libya is now on the doorstep of the Syrian capital (Building raw link base below). There are conflicting reports, some saying the final battle for Damascus may have already begun, others unclear:

BBC– The two days of clashes appeared to be the heaviest fighting in Damascus in the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, activists said.

The BBC’s Jim Muir says it is not clear whether the battle for Damascus has begun, but the violence seems to be creeping ever closer to the heart of the capital and the centre of the government’s power.

Tweeple, please post any useful handles and tags in comments below. The rebels are going to win, and the uprising will spread to other countries, so what happens next? What should happen next in your opinion?

The conflict in rare pictures. Hashtag #Syria. Al-Jazeera and Livestream said to show Syrian rebels in Damascus.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Raging Bee

    There’s the rub: WHICH rebels are going to “win?” It’s not like they’re a monolithic group who all share the same agenda.

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    On top of the disunity noted by Raging Bee @ # 1, there seems to be a very strong likelihood that some of the insurgent factions are armed, funded, and somewhat steered by outside parties, including a centralized intelligence agency of a certain unnamed superpower with a grudge against Iran.

    The Red Cross has officially declared the Syrian situation to be a civil war, meaning that the Geneva Conventions now apply there. It’s gonna (continue to) be a very bloody mess.

  3. 3
    slc1

    Re Pierce R. Butler @ #2

    Gee, Obama just can’t win. Butler accuses him of subtly supporting some of the insurgent factions while the neo-cons beat the drums for US military intervention and accuse him of dithering.

    Aside from what is going on currently, we should be looking ahead to the possibility of a sudden collapse of the Assad kleptocracy. Given what has been going on for a year now, there is every likelihood of a blood bath ensuing as the Sunni Muslims, who make up the majority of the population, seek to take out their revenge on the ruling Alawite minority (12% of the population) that currently dominates the government of the country and quite possibly against the Christian minority (10% of the population) which, so far, has been generally supporting the government. Together, they constitute some 3 million+ people. This could result into a mass exodus of these folks into neighboring countries (e.g. Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and, believe it or not, Israel.

    There was an article in one of the Israeli newspapers a few months ago which claimed that the IDF was making preparations for a potential mass exodus of Christians, and possibly some Alawites across the Golan Highths cease fire line, a dangerous undertaking for those potential refugees as it is my information that both sides of the cease fire line are heavily mined.

  4. 4
    sumdum

    As usual, I’m kinda torn. I support democracy ofcourse, but as we’ve seen in the other countries that had a revolution, it ends up being a win for islamists most of the time. Guess they gotta learn on their own though, I wouldn’t wanna end up in the ‘democracy is not FOR you’ camp.

  5. 5
    Aliasalpha

    Here’s hoping they manage to replace the regime with something less malevolent rather than just trade one bunch of dictatorial fuckwits for another

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    slc1 @ # 3 – No one who advocates the pre-emptive nuking of a nation of almost 90 million people gets to play the “bloodbath” card.

  7. 7
    slc1

    Re Pierce Butler

    I haven’t the slightest idea what Mr. Butler is talking about. What bloodbath card? If Mr. Butler thinks that the likelihood of a bloodbath after a precipitous fall of the Assad regime is somehow remote, he is whistling Dixie. Unfortunately, Syria’s neighbors don’t have the luxury of ignoring it because they will be the recipients of a potential mass exodus of refugees which would result.

    IMHO, the possibility of a soft landing and a negotiated exit of the Assad regime grows more remote every day.

  8. 8
    slc1

    Apparently, there was a homicide bombing in Damascus this morning which killed a number of high Syrian officials, including Assad’s brother in law. Apparently, the blast occurred within sight of the presidential palace.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/world/middleeast/suicide-attack-reported-in-damascus-as-more-generals-flee.html?_r=1&hp

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