mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Syrian War Threatens Regional Stability

The ceasefire in Syria didn’t last long, Reuters reports:

Opposition activists in Syria said forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had renewed their heavy bombardment of major cities on Saturday, further undermining a truce meant to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha religious holiday.

The conflict is spinning out of control, causing serious problems for its neighbors like Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. For the first year of the conflict, refugees and rebels seeking safety were the main issues for Syria’s neighbors. Now, things are getting worse, with the shelling of a Turkish border town, car-bombing in Beirut, and border clashes with Jordan.

Further complicating the region’s stability is the emergence of Syrian Kurdistan. The would-be neighbor is now taking advantage of the chaos and seeking to carve out a chunk of Syria for itself. The Global Post reports:

As Syrian government forces are focused on fighting a Sunni-led insurgency, Kurds have carved out a degree of autonomy in northeastern Syria.

Kurdish flags fly over government buildings, and new schools that teach the once-banned Kurdish language have opened. There has been very little fighting in Kurdish areas, though some refugees have made their way to Iraq as food and supplies dwindle.

The longer this conflict goes on, the worst things get, both for Syria and for its neighbors. And the worse things get in Syria, Obama’s decision to go all-in in Libya while ignoring Syria looks more and more like a mistake.

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service