Monday, May 23, 2016

The Great Muddling Through


This attack is already being used by the Shabbiha to take revenge against the majority Sunni IDPs now residing in Sahel, especially in Tartous City. More attacks could pave the way for a major campaign to ethnically cleanse the Sahel. This could make the Sahel areas more manageable for the Russians and Iranians and their local supporters. 

Or, if there were enough sleeper rebel, IS or Nusra units embedded in the region, it could mark a step towards plunging the Sahel areas into the quagmire of civil war from which they have thus far been spared, for the most part. 

For now, this could be nothing more than an attempt to convince Russia & Co. of the need to honor the August deadline on the beginning of transition in Syria. 

The possibility that the regime could have orchestrated such an attack to keep its loyalists in check cannot be easily dismissed either, as the regime has been guilty of these tactics before, and as local ire against pro-Assad officials has been on the increase of late. Still, one would expect, and hope, that things would get slightly clearer on this score by August.