“There are strong incentives for rebel leaders to embrace an extremist ideology in any country, Muslim or not, experiencing civil war with a history of corruption and few constraints on power. ISIS was one of the first groups to figure out this strategy, but others will follow,” Barbara F. Walter writes for Foreign Affairs.
“The main accomplishment of a small, open-ended, U.S. presence in Syria would be complicating Assad’s potential plans to retake territory from the PYD [the Kurdish Democratic Union Party], which is allied with the Americans but also an affiliate of the PKK, a U.S.-designated terrorist group,” Faysal Itani writes for War on the Rocks.
“For a long time the Syrian leader’s weakness was, paradoxically, his strength. So weak was he, that his downfall threatened the entire edifice that Russia and Iran sought to maintain in place in Syria,” Michael Young writes for the National.