Saturday, March 16, 2013
Increase in Fighting in Syria's Capital
This particular article, courtesy of Al Jazeera, describes the intensified fighting between the Syrian Army and the rebel Free Syrian Army in Damascus. Aside from gaining footholds in the agricultural area Ghouta, rebels are becoming ever close to taking full control of Damascus International Airport. The increased fighting has essentially shut down the airport to minimal, if any civilian use. The majority of flights coming into Damascus are either military equipment and troops flown in from Iran or diplomats having to fly in from Beirut. The small number of civilian sorties coming into Damascus do so at great risk, given the close proximity of skirmishes. On the rebel side, troop reinforcement has also progressed according to a statement made by the Syrian Revolution General Commission. The article also went into detail describing fighting in the eastern city of Deir az-Zor, bordering Iraq's western border and in the Barzeh, Jubar, and Qaboon suburbs of Damascus.
Theories that we have discussed in class show the process of how a weak state such as Syria can be rebuilt. Neo-trustteeship, a proxy leader is needed until a working government can take over the vacuum of state leadership and can work with international bureaucracies. A emphasis on strong state institutions that support property rights and rule of law is also essential.
Despite the huge international interest in the country, it's still difficult to say what the future holds for Syria. The article's interviewee had a more optimistic prediction, stating that with international help, the country could come to a solution through agreement between the two domestic groups. Others are also hoping for an international presence in Syria, especially from the United States. A strategy for president Obama could be to preserve what is left of Syria by enforcing a no fly zone and arming non-jihadist rebels.