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Published on: June 12, 2014
Syria Spills Over
The Meaning of Mosul

The fall of Mosul and Tikrit to ISIS is a wake-up call to all the states of the region: It’s time to put an end to the Syrian civil war and the sectarian mayhem it has spawned.

Henri J. Barkey is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University.
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  • lukelea

    “It is time to put an end to the Syrian civil war.”

    Done. What next?

    • Pete

      Yes, it’s like the pope waking up one day and calling for peace.

    • adk

      Stopping rise of the oceans, obviously.

  • solstice

    An asinine article if I ever read one but not surprising considering that this is coming from academia. So, the United States can end the Syrian civil war via regional dialogue and Bashar Al-Assad will just pack up and leave as a result? Very realistic.

  • matthew merrington

    This is only the beginning of the legacy of the Arab Spring … from now on, state borders will vanish, then re-emerge, and some will appear out of no where. Nation statehood as Skyes and Picot fashioned it no longer exists.

  • gabrielsyme

    This article is accurate in seeing Syria as the central problem to be addressed; but Barkey becomes naive in imagining an agreement can be reached with Assad that includes his removal from power. Assad (correctly) sees himself as the essential lynchpin of a secular government that is the only defence of minority communities from the tender mercies of the Sunni rebels.

    A deal certainly needs to be reached with Assad, and conceivably that could include a balkanisation of the country, but Assad is not going to accept anything that strengthens the rebels or requires himself to leave government. Nor should he: his position is probably stronger than at any time in the past three years, and a rebel victory would create a very real risk of genocide and ethno-religious cleansing (as has already been seen to a certain extent in Maloula and Kessab).

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