In article published by OZY, ex-CIA director John McLaughlin argues that Syria is reaching its end game after nine years of conflict between multiple parties, including the government and opposition factions.
According to the author, “Syria’s Assad has won — at least military,” pointing to the fact that the Syrian Armed Forces have managed to retake most of the country.
“Of all the regional leaders who inspired violent domestic protests, Assad is the only one left in power (aside from the Bahrain monarchy that survived a brief protest with Saudi protection),” the author argues, adding that “Assad owes his survival to Russia and Iran, which brought significant ground and air forces to his rescue.”
With regards to the future of Syria, McLaughlin says that while Assad may have won the war, he is a leader with “no legitimacy.”
“With 400,000 Syrians killed, 5.7 million having fled the country, and 6.1 million internally displaced, Assad emerges as a ruler with no legitimacy — and one with little claim to international assistance for reconstruction,” he added.
While the author concedes Assad may have won militarily, he argues that former US President Barack Obama’s hesitancy to be more engaged in Syria and current President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the country has led to Washington’s failure to influence the future of the conflict.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.