NİHAT ALİ ÖZCAN > Between realities and dreams: the future of Syria

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At the beginning of the week, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters that the Turkish Government wanted to see the end of the Syria crisis soon. In addition, he also mentioned a new “Syria” whose integrity is protected and whose autonomy and federation is not in question. According to explanations, Syria must never be Lebanon. Indeed, this would be a disaster not only for Syria but also for the whole region. However, we know that these issues will not continue with hopes. At this point, the question is: How realistic are the desires specified above at present?

In my opinion, we need to ask four questions to understand how the Syria model will be at the end of the process. Firstly, what does the changing character of the war mean in analyses? Secondly, how does the proxy war affect political development and the time period? Thirdly, how does the deep sociological division among the people in Syria shape the problem? Fourthly, if there is no authority or sufficient power and desire to end the interference, how will Syria turn out?

First, the process that began with the insurgency in Syria is continuing to expand rapidly into a civil war. With Syrian army officers and Sunni soldiers deserting the Syrian army increasing and conflicts expanding in the country, the army is losing its feature of representing each group of society. In the end, the army could turn increasingly sectarian in character, becoming increasingly composed of Alawites. Aside from this, the Free Syria Army would be an arms force composed of Sunni political features. Although their numbers and impact would increase, they would never be a fully-disciplined and regular arms force. Thus, the war would continue without front, irregular, facade, brutal and no rule and no moral block. This will threaten seriously the future of Syria.

Second, having numerous foreign supporters of warring parties - the feature of “proxy war” – would cause the war to continue, increases death, and make a certain end to the war an impossibility. For example, while Iran, Russia, China and Hizbollah support al-Assad, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the U.S., the U.K., and France are on the side of the rebels. This situation increases the capacity of both sides and causes the war to continue.

Third, with regard to the deep sociological division in the society, psychological, religious prejudices and historical traumas of the past would feed on a civil war situation and cause enemies to have more strength. The warring sides feel “comfortable” only if they are divided physically. This situation would trigger the political division of the country.

Lastly, having no authority to end the disturbances would bring about the completion of the political division, and reunion would take a long time.

In the foreseeable future, it is difficult to have clandestine operations, air operations, punitive air operations, blockages from the sea, peace making and peace keeping operations that would provide an advantageous position to one of the sides compared to the other. Apparently, the fire in Syria will extinguish with its own domestic dynamics, which will cause numerous civilian deaths. In the end, it is difficult to see Davutoğlu’s desired Syria in the future picture.


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Blue Dotterel

8/4/2012 6:35:42 PM

A Sunni shopkeeper in the impoverished suburb of Set Zaynab, which was partly destroyed in the clashes last week, no longer supports the rebellion. “I wanted Assad to go because he is corrupt,” he said. “But what happened here, what they did, it scared me. It made me angry. I cannot support the murder of my neighbors in the name of change. You cannot bring democracy by killing innocent people or by burning the shrines of Shiites. Syrians don’t do that. This is the work of the Wahhbis of Saudi Ar

Blue Dotterel

8/4/2012 2:46:51 AM

Turk Uzan, if you don't support Assad, then you must support Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Do you really think Saudi and Qatar want a secular democracy, or any democracy, in Syria. It needs to be remembered that Assad has undertaken democratic reforms, but these were conveniently ignored by the GCC and NATO. The fact is that the majority of Syrians support Assad because most are not Sunni Salafists, which apparently you are.

Blue Dotterel

8/3/2012 7:57:48 PM

Anwar, we are not Assad appologists. We understand that authoritarian regimes without the people's support are anathema, but we also know that the people attacking the Assad do not in any way represent the Syrian people. Many, if not most are not Syrian. Their goal is to destroy Syrian independence, and either replace the Assad Gov't with something worse, or to destroy Syria completely in the same way they destroyed Libya. Do you really think Libyans are better off today than under Gadhafi?

Turk Uzan

8/3/2012 9:19:46 AM

@ Anwar Dervish, I hope you realize that Blue Dottorel is a Syrian, not a Turk. He's an Assad apologist and certainly not the only Syrian that supports Assad I've seen. The only Turkish comment is that of Murat who is not supporting Assad. Most Turks do not support Assad and want him gone, I am Turkish and also do not support Assad and hope that he'll be punished for his crimes ASAP.

Anwar Dervish

8/2/2012 10:55:58 PM

I can't believe the number of Assad apologist here. Tell you what, since you love Assad so much, and think he is the hero of secularism and social justice, then how about this, send Erdoğan and his party to govern over Syria and you take Assad and the Ba'ath party. Have fun then.

mara mcglothin

8/2/2012 8:19:54 PM

Looks like everyone is protecting their own interests and the fighting will rage for many years to come just like all the other countries in the ME. People simply cannot learn from previous mistakes, and fyi BLUE I am including the "West" in that statement as well. We all need to learn to get along together, and stop all this ridiculous fighting that is killing thousands.


8/2/2012 7:42:59 PM

Blood letting in Syria was not started by its neighbors or any other external source. Syrians started this. Assad took it form protests to bloody violence and civil war level. Turkey, Lebanon or Irak are not some remote third parties. They have a lot at stake in this. Not realistic to expect for them to just sit and watch and pray, or close borders.

Blue Dotterel

8/2/2012 3:55:35 PM

Johanna, 50,000 Christians in Homs were ethnically cleansed from the city by the FSA. The 200,000 Christians are afraid of these thugs, and have been provided arms to defend themselves from these thugs and fanatics. They are taking up arms now because they must. The Syrian gov't is assisting them. Turkey on the other hand is supplying the rebels with two dozen stinger missiles. This was just reported by NBC news. The AKP is helping create a sectarian war in Syria. Why?

V Tiger

8/2/2012 1:48:07 PM

'whose integrity is protected and whose autonomy and federation is not in question'???Protected autonomy & federation means division of the country.Division of the country is inevitable if Assad falls.Time will come when Syrians & neighboring countries will wish that Assad had stayed.

Rimon Tree

8/2/2012 8:18:41 AM

@Thanks for that interesting information about the murdered officials! This game is getting more and more crooked all the time. Obviously Saudi and Qater are getting a bit concerned about their own possible inner conflicts and certainly US as the big ally of - oh so democratic countries like them - are sure doing everything to support them.
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