Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Syrian chaos

Syria is fast crumbling into chaos.  Yesterday a plane fired a rocket into a crowd waiting for bread in central Syria and killed over 60 people.  The Syrian Army are using scud rockets against their own cities and for the first time there are reports of the regime using poison gas against civilians.  It is reported that now the Assad regime controls only ca. 25% of the country.
Pres. Obama vigorously warned Pres. Assad that use of chemical weapons would cross a threshold and would unleash American reaction.  So far no reaction has been heard of, but it has been reported in The Times of London that US and Israeli special forces are operating inside Syria to prevent the use of poison gas and to stop it falling into the hands of the rebels.  This is not only to prevent them using it against the Syrian forces, but also to stop it falling into the hands of anti-western and anti-Israel terrorists.  The main fighting units of the so-called Free Syrian Army includes various extreme Islamist groups that could then pass chemical weapons on to other forces, such as Hizbollah or al Qaeda, to use against Israel and the USA. 
The question now is how long can Assad hold out?  Not only is his military situation dire, but the Russians are considering a means of easing him out by arranging an escape route for him and his family.  Unless he wants to share the fate of Qaddafi, he has to act soon.  Meanwhile Alawite forces will be forced to fight to the finish and may make a stand in NW Syria around the port of Latakia.  It is possible that they will establish a separate Alawite enclave there.  If so, Syria may then break into three separate mini-states, Alawite, Sunni and Kurd.  This is the tendency in the Arab/Muslim world, where distinct ethnic groups cannot coexist, they do not have the tradition of democracy and protection of the rights of minorities. 


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