Serious in Syria

Things are getting more serious in Syria, which is escalating into a desperate struggle for survival by the regime.  The government is using heavier weapons and more extreme reprisals — a young woman, Zainab Alhusni, whose brother is an opposition activist, was found beheaded and dismembered.   Yesterday, heavy government forces were said to have stormed a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and a place that had so far been outside the struggle.

At the same time, European sanctions have escalated, with a  boycott of Syrian oil (Europe is their primary market).  Even more critical, defecting members of the Army are threatening to organize an armed resistance a la Libya.

All of which means the Syrian protest is not dying down; rather it is entering an even more brutal and extreme phase.  The regime is creating martyrs; the conflict is beginning to touch the key economic center of Aleppo; and there are early (but still minor) signs of cracks in the security forces.   I believe strong international pressures will keep these trends going further, as will continued economic slippage.  This will be a difficult struggle, but it is far from over and the odds are still, in my view, against the regime surviving another full year.

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About jackgoldstone

Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
This entry was posted in The Middle East Revolts. Bookmark the permalink.

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