Syria: from rebellion to all-out war

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Publication Date February 2013
ISSN 1865-7451
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The situation in Syria at the beginning of 2013 could hardly be worse. Dead, wounded, refugees, a humanitarian disaster. President Assad is destroying his country and waging war against his own people. Russia and Iran back the regime. The West wants regime change without intervening militarily. The political opposition is now more united but overwhelmed with the situation at hand. The armed resistance, partially dominated by Jihadists, is difficult to size up.

The rebels are backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. The killing continues. The population of Syria is being brutalized. It is becoming impoverished. It is falling apart. And it desperately needs help. A negotiated settlement does not seem to be in the cards; the opposition continues to insist on a political transition without Assad, and the latter is not prepared to relinquish power. This means that there is an urgent need for policy recommendations that can suggest a way of resolving this conflict, which has now acquired an international dimension.

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