Sunday, 17 May 2015

Syrian rebels attend a training session near Idlib, Syria (File)

Tide of Syria civil war turns against
I don't know about 'warlords', and ISIS would lose any remaining legitimacy if there was no longer a worse alternative in the form of Assad, but generally the Telegraph is more accurate than the more liberal papers.
" “The Syrian regime is much more hollow at its centre than one might think,” said a well-connected Syrian businessman, who asked not to be identified. “It’s a house of cards surviving on the projected image that it can still win the war. But the officials I know have already packed their bags, ready to run should that impression collapse.”
These developments spell neither the certain end of Mr Assad, nor the victory of his rebel enemies. But they reveal how four years of civil war have reduced the government to a shell. Power is concentrated in the hands of an inner circle of security chiefs - and their grip may not be as firm as the propaganda suggests.
The setbacks also show how Mr Assad has been forced to rely on his regional ally, Iran, for men and money - at a cost of relinquishing much of Syria’s sovereignty.
A diplomatic solution to the conflict would involve Mr Assad’s departure - probably to Moscow or Tehran - and a change of leadership, but the preservation of the regime’s institutions, including the deeply repressive security system that led many Syrians to join the first protests in 2011.
Under this scenario - which may pass as the best case - the debilitating war of attrition would grind on even after Mr Assad’s removal. Power would continue to slip out of the hands of whoever occupied the presidential palace in Damascus, flowing towards the rebel warlords who now control large expanses of Syria.
The insurgents would tighten their grip on their fiefdoms in the north and south, while Isil would hold on to the eastern region along the Euphrates valley. The slow and bloody disintegration of Syria would continue - with or without Mr Assad."

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