A Washington Post article today, "Assad forces gaining ground in Syria" by Liz Sly, argues that recent events suggest that the Assad regime is not just surviving but has gone on the offensive. Drawing on local analysts, she finds that in the civil war, "there is little doubt that the pendulum is now swinging in favor of Assad … bolstered by a new strategy, the support of Iran and Russia and the assistance of fighters with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement."
If this in fact be the case, then, Western governments should respond by helping the rebels to prevent Assad from crushing them.
This advice is consistent with my argument (in an article titled "Support Assad" published just a month ago, when Assad appeared to be going down) that the West should prevent either side in the civil war from emerging victorious by "helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict."
This policy recommendation of "helping whichever side is losing" sounds odd, I admit, but it is strategic. (May 11, 2013)
Aug. 5, 2013 update: An analysis by the Associated Press and the Israel Hayom staff, "Syria's war splits nation into 3 distinct regions," makes these points about the on-going civil war in Syria:
- the longer the bloody conflict drags on, the more difficult it will be to piece together a coherent Syrian state from the wreckage.
- Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi author and columnist, argued in a recent article that at least one of Syria's neighbors will benefit if the dividing lines harden: "It is an ideal solution for Israel which will benefit from Syria's division into three weak rival states that will never again represent a strategic threat for Israel."
Dec. 19, 2013 update: I reply today to the question in the title above at "Yes, Support the Syrian Rebels."