Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not so simple!

"... And while a Saudi strategy more in line with U.S. counterterrorism goals is no doubt beneficial, there are obvious ways in which this pivot can ultimately hurt the rebel cause and further atomize the opposition. When moderates spend their time fighting jihadists, they do not fight Assad and his Iranian-made proxies, which are therefore left to consolidate more territory. Just this week, the regime retook most of Homs, the birthplace of the revolution, as part of a deal struck with the remaining fighters in the Old City. Islamist groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham, are marking this “evacuation” not as a tactical necessity but as a betrayal of first principles.
Furthermore,  should the rebels be seen as little more than mirror-images of U.S. JSOCs, created to stamp out terrorist networks and not advance the goal of regime change, then the Syria crisis will be resolved almost exactly along the lines laid out by Damascus. That way lies one of two options:
either reconciliation between the Saudi monarchy and the House of Assad or, what is more likely, the collapse of this U.S.-deferential Saudi policy altogether and another big rift between Riyadh and Washington."

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