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PostTurkey and Syria (Istvan Simon, USA, 09/30/12 5:24 pm)
I much enjoyed the wonderful post by Gilbert Doctorow (30 September). Most interesting are his remarks about Turkey.
Turkey is a counterpoint to Iran in the Middle East, and thus Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in the popular insurrection against the Assad regime in Syria. Iran sent basiji and other fighters to help their Syrian client, but there is little doubt that neither Iran nor Russia can save the Assad regime. Assad is as good as dead--he will either flee to Iran or Russia, or be killed in Syria, like Gaddafi was in Libya, or tried for war crimes in The Hague. My guess, is that he will flee to Russia. Time will tell.
JE comments: I cannot understand why Assad doesn't seek a graceful (or at least safe) exit now. The fates of Mubarak and Gaddafi don't give much hope for ex-dictators in the Middle East.
But would Russia and/or Iran willingly give refuge to Assad? To ask a frank question: what would be in it for them?