The recent NATO decision to deploy missiles along the Turkish-Syrian border has been framed in terms of a defense strategy for Turkey. However, speaking with the BBC World News, Carnegie's Marina Ottaway noted that “as the situation worsens in Syria, these missiles could provide cover for refugees fleeing the violence.” While the Assad regime becomes increasingly threatened by the insurrection, it is difficult to judge what Assad will do. Many, including the Obama administration, are preparing for the possibility that the regime may use chemical weapons in some capacity. Despite the tenuous situation that the regime is in, the fractured nature of the opposition leaves the potential of a post-Assad era fraught with complications, Ottaway warned. “It is likely that we see a Libya-like situation with certain militias controlling certain areas, creating a situation where it is difficult to put together a cohesive political force,” concluded Ottaway.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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