Power balance to tilt towards rebels: Report
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Rebels prepare to launch a rocket towards a government building in Deir ez-Zor. Deir Ezzor, a once thriving oil hub on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, has become a practical ghost town, nearly two years after the bloody conflict started in Syria. AFP photoThe balance of power in Syria will eventually shift to rebel forces but a protracted civil war risks destabilizing the whole region, a think-tank warned yesterday in its annual report on world military strengths.
Syria dominated an “increasingly complex” global security situation that also includes China’s rise and a continuing increase in Asian defense spending, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said. The “Military Balance 2013” report said that in Syria the tide was turning against President Bashar al-Assad in the two-year conflict, even though the prospect of foreign military intervention remained “remote.”
“Short of using chemical weapons against rebels, with attendant risk of international intervention, it was difficult to see how Assad could reverse this trend.” But the report warned that regime forces “could still tactically defeat the rebels if the latter abandoned their guerrilla approach and tried to hold urban areas.