Rival Groups Jostling for Power in Syria

(London Times) Editorial - The gunfight and attempted bombing of a well-guarded diplomatic district in Damascus is a significant indicator of the plotting, power struggles, and fragilities beneath the surface of what is a monolithic, totalitarian regime. A large part of the Sunni population has never accepted the domination of the Alawite minority, to which the Assad family belongs. What is significant is that any group now feels emboldened to challenge the Baathists. Assad is floundering, unable to reduce the influence of the fossilized old guard or push through changes for which a frustrated younger generation is yearning. A power struggle is taking place beneath the surface as the instability in Iraq and Syria's growing unpopularity in Lebanon increase domestic political tension.

2004-04-30 00:00:00

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