Dec 13 2012
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, December 13, 2012
The whole of Syria is now in a state of faint. There is great risk that this state of affairs will continue and aggravate. For Syria to awake and pursue normal life is hard to see.
So, wait for more surprises as the fighting approaches the capital Damascus and the rebels battle government troops for the control of air bases, military camps and airports.
All surprises are possible. We may suddenly see pilots with their warplanes strafing the presidential palace or other sovereign landmarks.
The defection of whole army units is quite possible. The regime is losing more and more land and any large-scale defections in the military will mean loosening its grip and control.
But few have correctly assessed the scenario of what will happen if the regime is on the brink of defeat or collapse.
Almost the whole world has turned against the government in Damascus. Politically, one can say the regime is almost finished, but what alternatives does it have at its disposal.
The regime still has a few cards to play. It can deploy its massive missile and chemical weapons arsenal in a manner it thinks may turn tables on its adversaries’ heads.
This scenario is there but many think it is very unlikely to happen because the loss of control will mean much lower possibility for the rank and file of the Syrian armed forces to obey orders from their command.
As the ground shakes under the feet of the regime, the possibility for external military action has receded, barring the horrific scenario of the use of chemical weapons.
The regime has never been as beleaguered as it is now. It is doubtful whether its allies like Russia and Iran will ever be able to prevent its sinking.
But the biggest surprises are those that are in store for the Syrian people in the post-regime era, which many think it is not very far away.
Will the country’s disparate ethnic and sectarian groups as well as its divisive and heavily armed rebel organizations march towards national reconciliation or internecine fighting?
Conditions are not stable in any of the countries which have seen dramatic transformations in the wake of the so-called Arab Spring.
A peaceful transfer of power, like that of South Africa, seems not to be a characteristic of the Middle East, which has so far failed to produce charismatic leaders like Nelson Mandela who forget, forgive and move on.
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