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Syria: back to uncertainty

Bashar AssadAfter Assad seemed to prevail against the rebels, fighting broke out in northern Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood and some Kurds have joined the army deserters who have realized that they have little chance of being forgiven by Assad. The bands staged several provocations against government troops, including an ambush which killed 120 soldiers.

Assad’s response so far has been measured. Only a few dozen people have been killed in the rebel towns. Given the very low number of casualties, Assad’s tanks and helicopters are evidently engaged in urban battles rather than the wholesale slaughter of civilians.

The Syrian regime does not appear to be in danger. Even if the rumors, reported by Debka, of a Turkish invasion of northern Syria are true, the incursion will be limited to a narrow border area so that refugee camps can be set up in Syria rather than Turkey. This, by the way, shows Israel what normal countries do to stem the flow of illegal immigrants. Israel, however, lacks the guts to set up refugee camps for Africans in Sinai, and even entertains the idea of allowing Palestinian refugees into the Jewish state.

The Turkish invasion of Syria was probably coordinated with Assad, who only profits by preventing a widely publicized exodus of his citizens, and can also count on the Turks to disrupt the rebels’ movements. Erdogan is probably not so crazy as to comply with Obama’s bidding and send his troops into Syria against Assad’s wishes; the consequence of such an action could well be Syrian missile strikes on Turkey and a pretext for Iran to send troops into Syria.

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