AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Middle East Opinion

Situation in Syria Continues to Deteriorate

By William Tucker

Another bombing in Damascus today killed 10 people and wounded many more according to Syrian state media. The apparent target was a police bus, but the methodology of the bombing hasn’t been confirmed by an independent source. Syrian government officials claim that it was a suicide bombing – pictures of the scene are consistent with that type of attack – that was carried out by the increasingly organized opposition in the country. The leader of the so-called Free Syrian Army dismissed the claims as propaganda and blamed the al-Assad regime for orchestrating the recent string of bombings as further justification for the violent crackdown on anti-regime protests across the country.

In the past few months opposition groups in Syria have begun to coalesce into a more meaningful organization better capable of challenging the regime; however they still have a ways to go. In the meantime, the safe haven provided by Turkey to the Free Syrian Army and other civilian refugees will allow the opposition groups that have struggled to challenge Baath party rule room to maneuver. Perhaps the most challenging element of anti-regime activities will not be the tactical engagement of Syrian forces, but rather the minority Alawite continued hold on power. If the opposition can make inroads against the Alawites in general, and the al-Assad clan in particular, then it becomes a real possibility that the regime could fall. It is not apparent that this has occurred, and as a result, violence will continue until one political entity gains a meaningful upper hand.

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