Russia’s intervention in Syria shows need for new deal in Middle East

Vienna, Nov. 14, 2015: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) at Syrian peace talks (source: dpa)
Vienna, Nov. 14, 2015: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) at Syrian peace talks (source: dpa)

What will become of Syria in the medium term? After four years of civil war, it is certainly not possible just to wind the clock back and let President Bashar al-Assad govern as if nothing had happened. But it is equally impossible to imagine a ‘democratic’ and united Syria, because the fracture lines run too deep.

It takes no skill in prophecy to predict that we will soon see four autonomous or even independent zones forming in Syria. First of these is the west, the government area, supported by the Russians and Iran, stretching from greater Damascus in the south to Aleppo in the north, including the cities of Homs and Hama. This area of course includes the ‘Alawite heartland’ huggin...

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