The disarticulation of Syria?January 10, 2013
There are indications that the Alewite dominated Assad regime may be making preparations for a retreat to their traditional homelands to continue the fight, perhaps even hoping to secede from greater Syria. Whether this is a likely outcome or not,Israeli scholar Itamar Rabinovich examines the potential that the Syrian civil war could result in a break up of that nation (link opens a pdf file). Rabinovich details Syria’s history, especially its history under the French colonial mandate, to show that a four way sectarian separation is actually within living memory in the nation.
Even if such a breakup occured, a modern disarticulated Syria would not look like this 1930s era map. The large Kurdish population of the north would certainly demand their own state – perhaps even joining with their fellows in Iraq and Turkey to carve a larger state out of all three nations. This would be a messy business all around and would undoubtedly draw Turkey and possibly more powers into the war. However, the Kurds are growing in demographic power throughout the region and could end up being the dominant faction in both Turkey and Syria by century’s end, so it might be in their best interest to take any opportunity to grant them their own state, rather than seeing them struggle for – or even seize – power in 2 or 3 existing nations.