There Are No Winners in Syria

The New York Times published an fascinating and depressing piece the other day about the stalemate that is Syria, where whoever commits the most atrocities has the upper hand.  As a reminder, Turkey just invaded a portion of northern Syria to attack ISIS, but also to prevent the Syrian Kurds from getting to close to their border, because although Turkey hates ISIS, it buys oil from them, it really hates Kurdish ‘terrorists’ (a loaded term), who are US allies in the region.  Turkey is a US ally as well, even though they’re probably committing gross human rights violations against alleged coup plotters. Of course, if the US was really serious about clamping down on Turkey, Turkey could always allow 1 million or so refugees into Europe. Syria, meanwhile, really hates the Saudi-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) opposition, which is also supported by the US.  Russia kinda hates them too, but not enough to get involved.  Iran supports Syria and the Southern Lebanese shia extremist faction, Hezbollah, but they don’t like the FSA of course.  And everyone hates ISIS, except that I’m guessing the Saudis don’t mind them so much because they are a bulwark against Iranian influence in the region. Turkey probably felt the same way until the recent attacks.  If this is all too confusing to you, check out this graph.

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