Most Important Read In Sunday Newspaper: Dead Pile Up In Syria, Diplomacy Failing
With reports that 70,000 people have lost their homes, and over 8,000 killed since the carnage started in Syria comes an important read over the larger strategic elements to the chaos being led by President Bashar al-Assad.
But the burgeoning civil war in Syria has upset that paradigm, placing the Russians and Americans and their respective allies on opposite sides. It is a conflict that has sharply escalated sectarian tensions between Shiites and Sunnis and between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf nations. And it has left Israel hopeful that an enemy will fall, but deeply concerned about who might take control of his arsenal.
“What makes Syria so much more complicated than Libya is that the strategic issues are as prominent as the moral ones,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton professor and until recently the director of policy planning at the State Department.
“Syria couldn’t be more strategically located, and the prospect of letting a full-fledged civil war erupt is incredibly dangerous,” she said, adding that it would become a proxy war between the gulf states and Saudi Arabia against Iran. “And then Israel is in there, too.”
Washington is keenly aware of the larger forces at play and of the dangers of another military intervention in an Arab country.
“It’s an arena right now for all of the various interests to play out,” said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview on CNN. “Turkey clearly has an interest, a very important interest. Russia has a very important interest. Iran has an interest.”