Rebel Victory Likely Won’t End War In Syria
America’s top intelligence official is saying that the downfall of the Assad regime likely wouldn’t end the fighting in Syria:
WASHINGTON — As it cobbles together additional aid for rebel fighters there, the Obama administration believes Syria could face a protracted, bloody conflict, even if the rebels succeed in ousting President Bashar al-Assad, several officials said Thursday.
The top American intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., said that even if Mr. Assad’s government fell, sectarian fighting would most likely engulf the country for a year or more. The American ambassador to Syria, Robert S. Ford, warned that without a negotiated political transition, supporters of the Assad government, “fearing death, would fight to the death.”
Those bleak assessments, delivered in separate hearings before the House and the Senate, underscore the grinding nature of the conflict in Syria and the administration’s pessimism that outside intervention will avert further humanitarian tragedy.
“I agree with you that the prospects in Syria are not good,” said Elizabeth Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, who along with Mr. Ford faced sharp questioning from members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over what the members said was an inadequate American response to the continuing bloodshed.
This may be the most worrisome aspect of the Syrian situation. As with Iraq, the downfall of the strongman is likely to lead the various ethnic groups that make up the nation to start turning on each other. Given that Syria is located in one of the powder keg areas of the Middle East, this is most assuredly not a good thing.