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Whether or not US strikes, Syria’s regime looks set to survive

President Barack Obama has insisted all along that the military strikes on Syria for which he now seeks congressional approval are not designed to pick a winner in that country’s civil war. And that’s bad news for those fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Two-and-a-half years into the rebellion, be it because of the military “facts on the ground” or the deadlock in the diplomatic arena, one point has become increasingly clear: the Assad regime is winning.

It seems improbable that Assad is still in power, let alone prevailing on the battlefield, given his regime’s ham-fisted handling of everything from a few boys writing anti-Assad graffiti in the backwater town of Dara’a in March 2011, to its alleged chemical weapons attacks in the suburbs of Damascus last week — two events that bookend a war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives, cost some $85 billion, and laid waste to many of Syria’s cities. But it’s worth remembering that to win, all Assad needs to do is survive. By that measure, he may even be in less trouble today than he was two years ago.

What’s notable, in fact, is that despite its outrage over the gruesome death of some 1,400 people — including more than 400 children — in the suspected gas attack last week at Ghouta, the Obama administration is not even considering intervention on the scale necessary to bring down Assad — something that rebel forces are clearly in no position to achieve without massive foreign military involvement.

Source: Al Jazeera and Agencies

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