With the Syrian government making large territorial gains in Aleppo on Monday, routing rebel fighters and sending thousands of people fleeing for their lives, President Bashar al-Assad is starting to look as if he may survive the uprising, even in the estimation of some of his staunchest opponents.But should he win, it is not likely to be a very glorious victory:
Yet, Mr. Assad’s victory, if he should achieve it, may well be Pyrrhic: He would rule over an economic wasteland hampered by a low-level insurgency with no end in sight, diplomats and experts in the Middle East and elsewhere say.Post-civil war Syria was described by former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford as "a half-dead corpse. . . a gaping wound that stretches as far as the eye can see." Assad has offended the U.S. and the E.U. too deeply to be able to get any rebuilding aid from them or the World Bank, and his friends in Iran and Russia don't have much money to give him. So the Syrian government will be broke, its industry ruined, its largest city rubble, with ISIS and al Qaeda still on the loose.
Syria's suffering is likely to go on for at least another decade.