So what is the future for Syria?

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As Syria’s civil war continues with no sign of resolution despite multiple ceasefire attempts resulting in failure and the myriad of interests, both domestic, regional and foreign, The WIDER View asks – What is the future for Syria?

Below is a brief list describing some of the possibilities, in extremely broad terms, of Syria’s future. The order in which they are listed does not represent the order of likely hood and the future may see a combination of possibilities listed below, none of the listed possibilities below, or shift from one to another as the situation remains fluid.

Possibility 1:

A political solution that results in a divided or partitioned Syria in which areas are separated into predominantly Sunni Muslim areas, Shi’a Muslim areas and a Kurdish area.

Possibility 2:

A political solution that results in a divided or partitioned Syria in which areas are separated into those who wish to see a democratic free Syria and those who wish to see an Islamic Emirate governed under Sharia Law.

Possibility 3:

Opposition forces ultimately gain victory, the most powerful of which are fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups. Fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups unite and establish an Islamic Emirate including the implementation of Sharia Law. *

Possibility 4:

Opposition forces, both fundamentalist Sunni Islamic and Western deemed moderate groups, ultimately gain victory. Opposition groups turn on each other in a fight for control of the country and fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups emerge victorious, establish an Islamic Emirate including the implementation of Sharia Law. *

Possibility 5:

Opposition forces, both fundamentalist Sunni Islamic and Western deemed moderate groups ultimately gain victory. Opposition groups turn on each other in a fight for control of the country and Western deemed moderate groups emerge victorious with the help of Western military support and establish a democratic, free Syria. *

Possibility 6:

Syrian government and allied militia forces ultimately gain victory and democratic elections are held to establish a new President. The country remains secular but distrust continues for years after between Sunni and Shi’a populations. *

Possibility 7:

Syrian government and allied militia forces ultimately gain victory and president Assad remains in control. The country remains secular but a crackdown takes place targeting Sunni Muslims who are suspected to have supported the armed insurrection. *

Possibility 8:

Syrian government and allied militia forces ultimately gain victory and democratic elections are held to establish a new President. A Shi’a Muslim President takes office and neglects Sunni populations within the country (i.e. Similar to former Shi’a Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki neglecting Sunni populations within Iraq). *

Possibility 9:

Opposition forces, both fundamentalist Sunni Islamic and Western deemed moderate groups ultimately gain victory. Opposition groups turn on each other in a fight for control of the country and Western deemed moderate groups emerge victorious with the help of Western military support and establish a democratic, free Syria. A Sunni Muslim President takes office and neglects Shi’a populations within the country (i.e. Similar to former Shi’a Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki neglecting Sunni populations within Iraq). *

 

* = Indicates a continued and indefinite insurgency by the loosing side who cannot accept defeat given the sacrifice made and blood shed for many years only to fail.

One fact that applies to all possibilities listed above is the re-construction of Syria’s infrastructure, housing, services, schools and hospitals which must take place. This will take years to accomplish and possibly decades if a lasting solution is not achieved with a backdrop of continued insurgency.

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