A Washington Post article yesterday, “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.