From the end of the Cold War until 2010, Syria, led first by President Hafez al-Assad and then by his son Bashar, had a uniquely flexible geopolitical position in the Arab world: Syria was an avowed enemy of Israel but directly negotiated with it. Syria claimed to be the beating heart of Arab nationalism but joined the United Nations coalition that evicted Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. The Assad government was labeled by the United States a state sponsor of terrorism, but Syrian intelligence agencies cooperated with their American counterparts in the fight against Al Qaeda.
Those days of flexibility may be over.… Seguir leyendo »
Ahora que las fuerzas que apoyan al gobierno sirio han recuperado Alepo, y que Rusia, Turquía e Irán negociaron un débil cese al fuego, es muy probable que el presidente Bashar al Asad y su régimen continúen gobernando Siria, de una forma u otra. En una entrevista con los medios franceses publicada la semana pasada, Asad declaró que Alepo marcaba un “punto crítico en el curso de la guerra”, y que el gobierno está “en camino hacia la victoria”.
No obstante, suponiendo que así sea, ¿qué es lo que Asad ganará?
Veamos las cifras (aunque estas estadísticas son estimaciones, si en algo cambian será para empeorar por el entorno de las guerras continuas en Siria).… Seguir leyendo »
Now that forces supporting the Syrian government have completed the takeover of Aleppo, and Russia, Turkey and Iran have negotiated a tenuous cease-fire, it is more than likely that President Bashar al-Assad and the regime he oversees will continue to govern Syria, in one form or another. In an interview with French media published last week, Mr. Assad stated that Aleppo signaled a “tipping point in the course of the war” and that the government is “on the way to victory.”
But if that is the case, what will Mr. Assad actually win?
Let’s take a look at the numbers. (While the following statistics are estimates, they will, if anything, get worse with the continuing matrix of wars in Syria.) More than 80 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line.… Seguir leyendo »
Where has President Bashar al-Assad of Syria been this past week?
Thousands of Syrians across the country have staged demonstrations against the government, and dozens of protesters have been reported killed by security forces. The cabinet was dismissed on Tuesday, although that’s a meaningless gesture unless it’s followed by real reform. Through it all Mr. Assad has remained so quiet that rumors were rampant that he had been overthrown. But while Syrians are desperate for leadership, it’s not yet clear what sort of leader Mr. Assad is going to be.
Will he be like his father, Hafez al-Assad, who during three decades in power gave the security forces virtually a free hand to maintain order and sanctioned the brutal repression of a violent Islamist uprising in the early 1980s?… Seguir leyendo »