Chemical Weapons Allegations May Be Game Changer in Syrian Conflict
Source Newsroom: South Dakota State University
The use of chemical weapons in Syria might be a game changer, says assistant professor Evren Celik Wiltse of the South Dakota State University Political Science Department. The native of Turkey earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, specializing in development and democratization.
Until two years ago, Turkey had a good relationship with the Assad regime. That is until the Syrian dissidents, who are mostly Sunni, took up arms. The Turkish government quickly sided with its fellow Sunnis. “The conflict has brought out the worst in the Middle East,” Wiltse says. “Everyone sided with sectarian brothers.”
Moreover, the complex web of alliances in the region draws Russia, France, and even the US into the equation, alongside Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries.
The dissidents are a mixture of coalitions, some with a strong Islamic, Sunni flavor. The secular Assad regime has the support of the middle classes, Christians and Assad’s fellow Alawites – the Shia sect in Syria.
Amidst this scenario, the international community is hard pressed to throw its support behind the anti-Assad coalition. An escalation in violence on the part of the Assad regime may change that.