As Syrian conflict enters its seventh year, Assad’s future is the sticking point

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Given Trump’s apparent openness towards Russia, Syria’s future looks set to follow the Iranian-Russian roadmap: full military force will be deployed against any Islamic extremist opposition, including many rebel groups, with Assad accepted as the only hope of stability in what promises to be a dangerous security vacuum. But under this plan, the question of future elections will be very tricky. Iran and Russia are both relying on Assad’s Shia regime to govern an overwhelmingly Sunni country; should a stable Syria ever hold democratic elections, the Sunni majority might well elect a Sunni government. If that happened, it would turn Syria away from Russia and Iran towards Saudi Arabia and defeat the point of keeping Assad in the first place. This conflict is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time, with nearly half a million killed, millions displaced internally, and millions more dispersed around the world as refugees – and yet the man most directly responsible is still in power, and may be for some time.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • civil war
  • Middle East
  • Arab Spring
  • geopolitics

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