Syria’s civil war has dragged on for 6 years and has left around 500,000 people dead, with over 5 million Syrians made refugees.In the early stages of the war, it was widely thought that Assad will fall and be deposed such as the likes of Murmuad Gaddafi and Mubarak. However, ever since Putin has put his Russian troops in Syria and supported Assad directly, the tide began to change in Assad’s favour.
Assad took territory under rebel control and is so confident that he has put his face on a new Syrian currency that has entered circulation. Russia’s ground support for Assad has had immediate results and it is clear the Assad will stay in power. Even Turkey, a former supporter of the rebels, have now thrown their support to Assad and have joined Russia in military operations in the region.
Many of those who wanted Assad gone are now accepting that he stays. President Trump’s administration released a statement from Sean Spice, the White House secretary, back in March saying that
“With respect to Assad, there is a political reality that we have to accept,”. This was changed from the previous Obama administration that wanted Assad to step down from power. Even the UK’s position has changed. Boris Johnson, the UK’s foreign sectary, released a number of statements that indicated that the UK no longer wants Assad to step down. This is a change in policy since the beginning of the civil war. From the onset the of war, the UK’s official position was that Assad should step down due to his crimes which were supported by both the ruling conservatives under former PM David Cameron and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband.
“I have to be realistic about how the landscape has changed, and it may be that we will have to think afresh about how we handle this. The old policy, I am afraid to say, does not command much confidence.” The statement by Boris Johnson.
It seems that other countries will follow in acknowledging that Assad is going to stay in power, whether they like it or not. The rebels cannot stand the Russians, Assad, Hezbollah, and Turkey and are severely weakened. In-fighting plagues the rebel groups and many are in conflict with one another. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the rebel groups in Syria.