A Free Syrian Army fighter takes cover during clashes with the Syrian Army in central Aleppo, 2012.
Goran Tomasevic / Courtesy Reuters

Syria is melting down. The ruling regime’s attempt to shoot its way out of the largest uprising it has ever faced has killed over 80,000 people and displaced roughly half of Syria’s population of 22 million. If the current monthly death tolls of around 6,000 keep up, Syria will by August hit a grim milestone: 100,000 killed, a number that it took almost twice as long to reach in Bosnia in the early 1990s. This a full two years after U.S. President Barack Obama pronounced that President Bashar al-Assad needed to “step aside.”

Comparisons to the Balkans do not suffice to describe the crisis in Syria, however. The real danger is that the country could soon end up looking more like Somalia, where a bloody two-decade-long civil war has torn apart the state and created a sanctuary for criminals and terrorists. Syria has already effectively fractured into three barely contiguous areas.

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  • ANDREW J. TABLER is a Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the author of In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle With Syria. Follow him on Twitter @Andrewtabler.
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