Spyer: Syria – War Over the Ruins

The beleaguered situation of the Assad regime in Syria means that any retaliation to the recent strike by the Israeli Air Force is unlikely. Indeed, the regime’s unusual decision to publicize its own version of these events indicates that it figures (probably correctly) that it can score a somewhat meager propaganda victory by portraying itself as the hapless target of the Zionists’ attentions.

But while Assad’s brutal regime may be defenseless against a modern air force, it is performing rather better against the divided and poorly equipped forces of the two-year-old insurgency against it. Indeed, there are no signs at all of the long-predicted collapse of the regime. Rather, the dictatorship is metamorphosing into just the best equipped of a multitude of sides in a multi-sided civil war.

Six months after the rebels declared the beginning of the battle for Damascus, the lines dividing the sides in the Syrian civil war remain static.

The regime has ceded the greater part of the north of the country, which is now parceled out between various rebel militias (with a de facto Kurdish enclave in the northeast).

The rebel forces themselves are deeply divided. A number of internecine killings have taken place — such as the blood feud that appears to have opened up between the Islamist Farouk Brigade and the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra.

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