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NYT: Al-Assad’s Future Looks as Secure as Ever
folder_openSyria access_time11 months ago
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Analyzing the latest happening on the Syrian ground, Ben Hubbard wrote for the New York Times:
Although Syria's bloody six-year war is far from over, one result is already becoming clear: President Bashar al-Assad looks as though he is here to stay.
On the battlefield, no one remains who is willing and able to topple him. Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL' group], with its own agenda to rule Syria as a caliphate, is being routed from its strongholds.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government is talking about rebuilding a shattered country, hosting an international trade fair last month and signing a deal with Iran to rebuild its power grid.
Since the government reclaimed control of the mountain town of Madaya after a prolonged siege, life there has improved for those who remained. The snipers left, electricity returned, and food appeared in markets. Cafes reopened, and people started going out.
Al-Assad's endurance has serious ramifications for the country and for the Middle East, affecting the prospects of Syria's future stability, of refugees to return home and of the Syrian government to tap international funds to rebuild its destroyed cities.
Now, al-Assad's government controls Syria's largest cities and most of its remaining people, who generally live in better conditions than those elsewhere in the country.
"The Syrian regime is now the furthest from being toppled," said Bassam Alahmad, executive director of Syrians for Truth and Justice, a human-rights monitoring group based in Turkey. "Fewer powers are interested in making that happen than was the case near the beginning of the Syrian war."
Officials in the United States and Europe still hope that al-Assad will leave office in an eventual political agreement.
Last month, the government held an international trade fair in Damascus for the first time since 2011, welcoming companies from Iran, Iraq, Russia, Venezuela and elsewhere. Among the new deals signed were ones for the importation of 200 buses from Belarus and contracts to export 50,000 tons of produce.
Source: The New York Times, Edited by website team
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