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Aleppo Clash Shows Weakening Assad

The outbreak of large scale clashes in Syria’s largest city and commercial capital opens a new chapter in what still looks to be the slow decline and fall of the House of Assad. From the beginning of the revolt, keeping Damascus and Aleppo relatively peaceful and calm has been the key to Assad’s longevity.

Syria’s political capital Damascus and its business capital Aleppo are the most important cities in the country and up until quite recently the convulsion shaking the rest of the country has been less visible there.

That seems to be changing; thousands assembled to protest the closure of the university in Aleppo, and four demonstrators are said to have been killed.

If the Assad government can no longer assure the peace of those cities, the end may be slowly coming into view. The regime’s enemies seem to understand that dynamic; bombs have been planted in both cities as opposition tactics become increasingly harsh.

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  • Lorenz Gude

    It took a real army to overthrow fellow Baathist Saddam and Mugsabe soldiers on in his 80s. I’m not counting Assad out yet.

  • Cunctator

    “The slow decline and fall of the House of Assad.”

    Measured in geologic time, it has indeed been very slow — but ultimately, at some point, sometime in the future, Assad will fall from power — or perhaps die of old age.

    I would have thought that by now, after more than a year, writers would be more circumspect in predicting the outcome of events in Syria. Assad might fall or he might not. I think it more likely that, measured in human time, the unrest will just continue: Assad not strong enough to suffocate it and the opposition too weak to dislodge him.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Cunctator: I’ve always thought this was a question of the amount of help the opposition inside the country can get from forces outside. They seem to be gradually attracting more financial and other support despite weakness and divisions. In any case, that is the key variable to watch.

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