Monday, July 11, 2016



By Tony Sayegh

I hate to admit this, but it looks increasingly clear that the Syrian opposition is in its final days. The signs of the approaching demise have been accumulating lately. The siege of Aleppo by the regime is now complete; several areas around Damascus (including Darayya) have fallen to the regime; the political leadership of the "coalition" seems to be in total disarray; Turkey has capitulated to the US and Israel and the Saudi royals are too busy with Yemen and have basically abandoned the Syrian opposition.

It is a full circle and back to square one for the Syrians. Have they learned any lessons from this most agonizing and bloody six-year struggle?

The most important lesson they should have learned is that they should only rely on themselves and abandon any shreds of illusion about "Friends of Syria." Counting on the US, the EU, Turkey and Saudi Arabia was stupid and a fatal error in judgment.

A complete overhaul of the leadership, which proved to be immature, shallow and lacking in basic perception and judgment should be undertaken without delay.

The struggle should be cast in its original and widely popular form: a struggle of a people for their freedom from the most despotic regime in modern history. This is not a struggle to establish another "Islamic" dictatorship.

The strategy of holding territory and trying to defend it (even right next to Turkey) should be abandoned. Only a dynamic guerrilla war can succeed.  But that requires an experienced leader (such as General Giap of Vietnam or Fidel Castro of Cuba). The new Syrian leaders should, first of all, read the history of struggles that succeeded and how and why they succeeded.

I hope that I am wrong in this assessment 

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