Any review of civil wars in the modern era shows that most of them are settled militarily. Civil wars fought between two combatants with limited or no foreign intervention tend to end in a few years (the American civil war, for example). Even the Spanish civil war, in which many foreign countries and parties were deeply involved, was settled in three years because it remained a conflict between two camps. Those civil wars involving more than one faction, and drawing a number of foreign sponsors of the local combatants, tend to drag on for years, even decades, (Angola, Afghanistan and Lebanon, for example). Syria’s civil war belongs to the second category, and is likely to continue for some time. Not necessarily at the current tempo, however, particularly with the emergence of “Cantons” controlled by the various warring parties. The Assad regime controls parts of Damascus, Aleppo and other cities, as well as a sliver of land connecting the capital to the predominantly Alawite Syrian coast, the community from which the Assad clan hails. In parts of northern Syria, hard line Islamists factions hold sway, and in parts of southern Syria factions belonging the ‘Free Syrian Army’ made headway. And in northeastern Syria the Kurdish groups are in control of their ancestral lands.
What could be
Geneva II could provide the opposition a chance to prove to the world, and the Syrian themselves, that they truly represent them and they are fighting on their behalfHisham Melhem