Syria: Could the country break-up?
By Global Dialog 1
March 8, 2012
Deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin's defection
to the Opposition might start a wider split.
The 58-year old deputy oil and minerals minister
announced his resignation from the Ba'ath party and
the government on YouTube, citing the brutality of
the Assad regime as justification, according to the
BBC. His departure, the first by a senior government
figure, could trigger a flood of resignations from
others disgusted by the clamp-down in Homs and other
Syrian cities and the torture, rapes and murderous
acts of the Syrian military. A civil war looms, as
outside intervention is thwarted by the
international community's inability to coalesce
(after Russia and China veto of UN-sanctioned
action) and the Arab League's incapability to devise
and implement a regional plan to halt spiraling
Syria's very existence as a single sovereign state
is under threat. According to expert diplomatic
advice from the departed UK Ambassador, the existing
Alawite minority government is doomed. The sizeable
Christian community offers tacit support to Bashar
al-Assad's regime, faced as they are by the prospect
of its replacement by a hardline Muslim Brotherhood
administration. In the North, the marginalised
population of Kurds must be hoping for a national
break-up so aspirations of a separate Kurdish state
can be realised. In the South around the Golan
the Druze have begun turning against Assad (veteran
Lebanese Druze politician Walid Jumblatt already
calling for the Syrian Opposition to be armed).
Syria's very composition appears precarious.
In his ArabSaga blog, F. Najia quotes George Solage
envisaging a three-way split in Syria - with the
Shia Alawites retreating to their Mediterranean
coastal heartland above Lebanon, the Kurds claiming
a statelet close to the Turkish border and the Sunni
Muslim Brotherhood holding sway in the bulk lands in
Syria's central, western and southern regions.
The Turks would baulk at such a Kurdish strategy as
it would give impetus to the rise of a combined
Kurdistan involving their own sizeable Kurdish
community and the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
Ankara would also be concerned about the position of
Turkey's own Alawite population, should an Alawite
state re-emerge north of Beirut.
The Israelis and Americans, the Saudis and the
Jordanians, would all be concerned at the existence
of a Damascus dominated by an extremist Sunni regime
dominated by Syria's hard-line version of the
Brotherhood. And the ten percent of Syrians who
follow Christianity would fear for their survival
under such a government.
International action to offset a bloodbath appears
impossible - it's US election year and the West is
tired of global intervention. The Middle East,
possibly the most volatile region on the planet,
seems destined to descend into geopolitical mayhem.
and this just as Iran's nuclear ambitions threatens
to entice a violent and probably fruitless Israeli
In their quieter and more contemplative moments,
members of the Turkish government might well be
discussing how much calmer things were to their
south when the Ottomans held sway. If there's
nothing the Americans, Israelis, Saudis, Qataris or
other interested parties can do to prevent Syria
from falling into prolonged civil war, and the Turks
are reluctant to be dragged into a Vietnam-style
quagmire, a drawn-out battle for the redesigning of
the map of Syria looks to be on the cards.
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