Monday, 8 July 2019

What Has Become of Abdul-Salaam Ojeili's Syria

What Has Become of Abdul-Salaam Ojeili's SyriaFollowing a stalemate that had lasted, imperfectly, from September 2018, the Syrian government and their Russian allies launched a campaign in early May against opposition-held territory in Syria’s northwest. If a larger campaign against Idlib province is coming, then it could be the death knell for the Syrian opposition as a force within the country’s borders. Aside from the significant territory east of the Euphrates controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and pockets of Turkish-occupied territory in the north, the Syrian government will have reclaimed the country following eight years of war. While this may still be some time away from becoming a reality, it is a fitting time to assess how the Syrian opposition failed in its objective to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and end the regime his father began in 1970.Over the course of eight years, the Syrian conflict went from complex to more complex, but its origins, of course, were in the idea that the Syrian government, and its president Bashar al-Assad, had lost the legitimacy to govern the country. The conflict evolved from peaceful protesters standing off against a dictatorial government, to a roughly two-sided war of rebels versus government, then to a total breakdown of the state into at least four distinct areas of control: the Syrian government, ISIS, the SDF and the opposition.So what went wrong? We all remember the hope that permeated the news media and social media in 2011, when everyone was convinced that the Arab world’s “spring” had finally come. Eight years later, however, the Syria that remains is not what anyone envisioned when they took to the streets to protest against the government. Given the Arab Spring’s track record around the region, it would be na├»ve to dismiss an argument that pinpoints an Arab-worldwide phenomenon that explains the failure to democratize in the region.




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