WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) MESOP COMMMENTARY BY ARON LUND – CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT – Asad’s Broken Base: The Case of Idlib” (Aron Lund, The Century Foundation)
14 July 2016 – “Ultimately, Assad’s ambition to restore the pre-2011 status quo ante runs up against the enormous changes wrought by the war. In many areas, the Syrian president was able to offset his manpower shortage only by relying on local actors with decades-old ties to his regime. Where the insurgents have gained ground, these supporters have largely disappeared: some have switched sides, others have fled or been killed. Old relationships and networks that used to benefit the government have been shattered beyond repair.
This policy brief examines the northwestern provincial capital of Idlib — alongside jihadi-controlled Raqqa, it is the most important city captured by the insurgency so far — to explore how Assad previously managed to rule it by entrusting security tasks to local proxies, and why that may no longer be possible.” https://tcf.org/content/report/assads-broken-base-case-idlib/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AMideast%