Three factors that will determine Syria’s future

The most realistic scenario in Syria is quagmire: Assad still has loyalty; the opposition is splintered, though protests continue; and the international community is indecisive, including the Arab League. But stalemate could finally prompt foreign intervention and a needed ‘safe zone. Benedetta Berti, a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University, lists the three factors that will determine Syria’s future.

2. Strength and cohesion of the civil opposition to the regime

In contrast to the relative unity of the regime, the opposition forces – although having risen in power and status and being able to seriously threaten the regime – still lack strong internal cohesion.

Judging from the little and not always reliable information coming out of Syria, the opposition forces have so far failed to create a truly inter-sectarian coalition (the opposition is mostly Sunni, with other groups – like the Kurds – remaining at the margins, fearing retaliation from the regime). The internal division is not surprising, considering the regime targeted and suppressed political opponents for decades.

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