Iran Emerging as Victor in Syrian Conflict

(Washington Post) Liz Sly - As fighters with Lebanon's Hizbullah movement wage the battles that are helping Syria's regime survive, their chief sponsor, Iran, is emerging as the biggest victor in the wider regional struggle for influence. Iran's supporters and foes alike are mulling a new reality: that the regional balance of power appears to be tilting in favor of Tehran, with potentially profound implications for the Middle East. "This is an Iranian fight. It is no longer a Syrian one," said Mustafa Alani, director of security and defense at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Council. "The issue is hegemony in the region. If Iran wins this conflict and the Syrian regime survives, Iran's interventionist policy will become wider and its credibility will be enhanced," he added. Iran has provided advice, money and arms to Assad's regime, but the manpower needed to bolster his forces has come from Hizbullah. Amr al-Azm, a history professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio who is Syrian and active in the opposition, warned, "Politically we're screwed, and militarily we're taking a pounding," Azm said. "America talked the talk while Iran walked the walk."

2013-06-13 00:00:00

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