Pressure of War Is Causing Syria to Break Apart

(New York Times) Ben Hubbard - Experts and Syrians themselves say the American focus on change at the top ignores the deep fractures the war has caused in Syrian society. Increasingly, it appears Syria is so badly shattered that no single authority is likely to be able to pull it back together any time soon. Instead, three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hizbullah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis. "It is not that Syria is melting down - it has melted down," said Andrew J. Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "So much has changed between the different parties that I can't imagine it all going back into one piece." The growing brutality of fighters on all sides and the increasingly sectarian nature of the violence make it less likely that the myriad ethnic and religious groups that have long called Syria home will go back to living side by side.

2013-05-17 00:00:00

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