Monday, September 07, 2015

Repealing Sykes-Picot

Could the Druze flip fully to the anti-Assad side and make a retreat to Rump (Alawite) Syria happen sooner?

After the assassination of a prominent anti-Assad Druze cleric, Sheikh Wahid Balous, his followers apparently did not take it well:

Six Syrian government security personnel were killed by Druze gunmen in the south of the country, a monitor said on Saturday, after two car bomb blasts killed dozens of people overnight provoking angry protests.

The Druze have largely stayed out of the civil war. Might they decide that it is time to enter the fray against Assad? Notwithstanding Assad's denials, anger is focused on him.

And could this trigger the abandonment by of Assad by other clans and minorities?

Of course, retreating to a Rump Syria and trying to hunker down won't be the end of the fight if Assad transfers the capital to Latakia:

A car bomb exploded Wednesday in a square in the Syrian port city of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar Assad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 25, the official Syrian news agency SANA said.

I have to wonder how eagerly Assad would be to risk this route?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was willing to hold early parliamentary elections and share power with the "healthy" opposition.

Mind you, such a path might make it safer for Russia to intervene and pose as the reliable savior of a Russian friend.

It's kind of funny when you consider that at one time the Nuanced set thought that we could trade the survival of Assad for Iran going non-nuclear. The Russians and Iranians seem to think they can save Assad without Iran giving up their nuclear weapons path.

And they found a way to pay for it, too.

Anyway, being a big fish in a smaller pond is likely to be healthier for Assad than trying to survive as a small fish in the big pond. Heck, he lost the rest of his oil resources in the east, at Jazal, anyway:

Islamic State fighters have seized the last major oilfield under Syrian government control during battles over a vast central desert zone, a group monitoring the conflict said on Monday.

I'm hardly a die-hard defender of the borders drawn by colonial powers. Although if Syria breaks up, there is French colonial history--which itself based on Ottoman history, as I note above--for subdivisions, eh?