After Iraq, comes Syria. Nobody imagined that the solid dictatorship of Hafez El Assad would show such brutality and impotence. Contrary to his successor, the founder of the Syrian regime knew how to mix uncommon brutality with an irrefutable diplomatic cover.
However, today, the list of Damascus’ traditional adversaries – Israel and the Palestinian Authority – adds new ones: Turkey, very close to the former Lebanese Prime Minister; Saudi Arabia, for the same reasons; Iraq, where the Shiites fight the insurrection backed by Syria and Jordan, which at the same time fights the Iraqi jihadists and Palestinian extremists that walk the streets of Damascus. For a while, it hoped to take advantage of Ahmadineyad’s victory in Iran but Tehran wants to eliminate the Iraqi jihadists, which would facilitate Shiite control in the country. Washington, Paris, Riad, and Moscow had betted on the stabilization of Lebanon with Syria’s approval but, today, they feel deceived by Damascus and they will not help a cornered regime.Moscow had resumed the delivery of weapons to Syria some months ago but Damascus is not a priority for them. For Russia, it is necessary to create an alliance with Egypt and Iran maintaining good relations with Israel and the United States.
However, the biggest threat for the current Syrian regime is the reformist and technocratic party that has taken control in Damascus little by little under the unfortunate and inefficient protection of Bachar Assad. This party mainly supports the complete normalization of diplomatic relations, and consequently the withdrawal from Lebanon, the shutting down of bases of the Iraqi jihad and the gradual withdrawal of Hamas in Palestine. The circle close to Bachar Assad still hopes to open the country and to reconcile with the United States and with France under the sponsorship of Putin’s Russia and of Rafsanyani in Iran. We are not far from a conflict between the Syrian factions and the hard liners could attempt to stage a coup d’état against the reformists.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

L’équation syrienne”,
by Alexandre Adler, Le Figaro, October 27, 2005.