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Bashar al-Assad’s Hollow Victory

Subservient to Patrons and Profiteers, the Syrian Regime Is Weaker Than Ever

Assad in Damascus, Syria, January 2020 Sputnik Photo Agency

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria has now endured through nearly nine years of civil conflict. The question for those invested in Syria’s future is no longer whether the regime will survive but how it will seek to consolidate its power before ending the war still ravaging the country. Assad may have entered battle thinking that his regime could retain the authority it enjoyed before 2011, but today his goals are likely more modest.

Their circumscription, however, does not make Assad’s current priorities less dangerous. They may even be more so. In order to demonstrate to the world that he remains in control and that relations with his regime should be normalized, Assad will undoubtedly seek to take back all of the country’s former territory. In order to sustain his regime internally, he will not dally with meeting the needs of the Syrian people but aspire to

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