News / Middle East

    Syria Violence May Worsen Post-Assad

    Syria Violence May Worsen Post-Assadi
    X
    January 18, 2013 5:27 PM
    Syria's civil war drags on, with diplomatic efforts making little headway and, according to the United Nations, more than 60,000 people killed. Experts don't see a quick solution, and believe that even if the rebels succeed in ousting President Bashar al-Assad, the violence could well continue, and even get worse. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London
    Syria Violence May Worsen Post-Assad
    Al Pessin
    Syria's civil war drags on, with diplomatic efforts making little headway and, according to the United Nations, more than 60,000 people killed.  Experts don't see a quick solution, and believe that even if the rebels succeed in ousting President Bashar al-Assad, the violence could well continue, and even get worse.

    "Of course, the worst case in Syria is more than imaginable: It's possible," said. Middle East expert Alia Brahimi of the London School of Economics.

    "What is looking more likely is that if the regime were to collapse, you would get the worst-case scenario of revenge killings and inter-communal violence.  And you would also probably see violent power struggles from within the victorious opposition, and then of course regional actors coming in to back their own horses," Brahimi.

    It's a bleak scenario, but not a surprising one.  Syria is split among Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, various clans and sects, and Islamic militants and liberals.

    "Syria is a crisis that may not be resolved for years to come, precisely because it plays into all these underlying sectarian and regional power struggles," Brahimi said.

    Brahimi is referring to Iran, a Shi'ite power that backs Syria's Shi'ite leaders from the Alawite sect -- who in turn facilitate its influence in Lebanon -- and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that would like to see a Sunni-led Syria and a weaker Iran.

    Beyond that, Western powers would like to see a liberal, democratic Syria, while Russia is determined to protect its influence in the country.

    But experts like Chris Doyle, at the Council for Arab-British Understanding, say an extended Syrian civil war is not inevitable if the various domestic and international players can be convinced their interests will be protected.

    "If the regime was to fall from power right now there would be a huge power struggle within Syria.  If, however, there is some sort of political solution, a very clear transition process, then there is some chance that Syria can exit this dreadful crisis with something to look forward to," Doyle said.

    But that would require agreement on the most contentious issue -- whether President Assad would resign immediately or stay at least for a transitional period.  Neither side is budging on that.

    "It's possible to resolve this.  It's just that nobody really wants to at the moment," Brahimi said.

    And that means Syrians are likely facing more months, if not years, of fighting -- whether Assad is in office or not.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    January 23, 2013 5:07 PM
    The sit in Syria every day hits a new low. We know the conflicted parties, but even the Western block is conflicted on sanctions. As soon as Hezbollah joined the Assad side of the conflict, the US requested the EU for sanctions on the terrorist organization, and the EU, especially Germany from media rpts, refused to sanction Hezbollah. The continued flow of money and other resources from the EU, enables this organization to prop-up Assad. Hezbollah is a very large, very well armed and very experienced fighting group; their ivolvement, buys Assad at least another 10 to 16 months in power. Once again, it shows that the EU has a clear double standard, this failure of the EU to sanction Hezbollah, will translate into potentially another 60,000 to 100,000 dead innocent Syrian civilians. The Arab league has also done nothing about Hezbollah; they could easily bring their case to the EU, but they have not, maybe they also do not realize how much impact Hezbollah has in sustaining Assad, and the continuation of the Syrian conflict.

    by: kafantaris from: USA, Ohio
    January 21, 2013 1:28 PM
    We have become callous to the great suffering of the people of Syria -- just as we had become callous to the great suffering of the Jews of Hitler’s Germany. History will be unkind.
    The heck with Russia and China -- these two treat their own people no better.
    We need to act now in Syria. And we are already far too late -- just as we were for the Jews.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 23, 2013 3:58 AM
    But Russia is standing in the way, and has been ever since this began. Shame on Russia, an insult to the Syrian Nation, with only interests in Bashar. If it wasn't for Russia this war would of been over many many months ago, and tens of thousands less dead. The world waits anxiously for Bashar to be served Justice and for the Syrian people to move on without him. Cleanup and restoration will take years sadly. It is disgusting what a tyrant can do to a nation, genocide we call it.

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    January 19, 2013 3:21 PM
    The sit in Syria continues to deteriorate at an unprecedented rate. The sit of the civilians juts gets worse and worse; reports of even itra-factional fighting, especially whithin the opposition, to the Assad regime, can only lead to a continuation of this savage war. Past conflicts, in which many ethnic groups are polarized, have shown that- if there is a national authority collapse, the bloodshed will continue for quite some time. The best example of the sit is next door in Iraq; more or less the same main religeous groups are involved. If you look at the long term prospects, just look at Pakistan, were also the same religeous groups are involved. In both Iraq and Pakistan, the Shia population continues to be targeted by extremists; and there is very little reaction from the "civilized world" to the plight of the Shia Muslims.
    If you look at the example of the Balkan wars, if the conflicted religeous ethnicities are not separated, the blood shed just continues unabated. At some time in the future, once the past is put behind, it is likely that the separeted ethnic/religeous groups will be able to reform larger multi-state units, like the EU. 70 yrs ago, the EU would have been unimaginable, so many wars were fought in Europe, over milenia, by the different ethnic groups, that the EU is in many ways is a miracle.
    It is unfortunate, that the separation, through at least a federal system, was not applied in Iraq. In Syria, a federated state should be considered, at least as a transitional structure, to ensure the post-conflict blood letting does not continue; as it was done in Bosnia-Hersegovina.
    It is shear wishful thinking, to expect that a post conflict Syria will be any bettter, than the post-conflict Iraq. It is usually those in majority populations, that are proponents and want to continue a state, which is clearly a state that never really worked for all ethnic groups, in the mix of such nations.
    I hope all the conflicted parties, start abiding by international law, wrt the protection of the civilian population; and have some humanitarian compassion and allow for the provision of humanitarian supplies to the trapped civilian population; and better yet, if they would have a temporary cesefire, even on a regional basis, and then to progress to some more permanent ceasefire throughout Syria, followed by a peace agreement/transition/etc.

    by: Ed from: Ryad, Saudi Arabia
    January 19, 2013 2:05 AM
    Of course things will worsen after the regime, because all of the jihadist and muslim backward thinking groups that are fighting in syria coz all of the above want to see Syria as country ruled by muslims only and the shari'a law being implemented which this is ludacris coz shari'a and democracy can't exist together, just look at all the fighting in Africa that is caused by Islamist acting shari'a law. This must stop and bashar al-Assad regime should be backed with western power to end the power struggle and end the infidel jihadist and Islamist.
    In Response

    by: Tom N Jerry from: Georgia, USA
    January 21, 2013 8:55 AM
    Look at what we have done in this region. Starting with the over through of Hussein in Iraq, supporting the "Arab spring," all through the region, being a major element in the execution of Kadaffi and finally, encouraging the over through of the Syrian government. In an effort to rid the world of terrorists, the US has created a larger number of terrorists than would have ever been possible without our interference and aid!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 19, 2013 11:05 PM
    Nah Bashar al Assad has killed way too many innocent civilians. He can't be the leader of any country. He must be tried for his murders and served justice. The majority population of Syria would agree. They have been calling for intervention since it started.

    by: Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 9:11 PM
    I don't think anything will be as bad as it is now with Bashar al Assad dropping bombs, shooting missles, and tanks killing innocent civilians. Justice will be served and Syrians will prosper.

    by: Murhaf Jouejati from: Washington DC
    January 18, 2013 2:50 PM
    Those who argue that violence in Syria in the post-Assad era will continue have obviously not consulted "The Day After" project that was put together by a group of Syrian intellectuals.

    Murhaf Jouejati
    Chairman,
    TDA Project

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora