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What’s Next For Syria

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

More refugees pouring out of Syria, more promises of aid for the rebels, and more fears that the radicals will win this fight.  We take stock.

Free Syrian Army fighters from the Knights of the North brigade move to reconnaissance a Syrian army forces base of al-Karmid, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (AP)

Free Syrian Army fighters from the Knights of the North brigade move to reconnaissance a Syrian army forces base of al-Karmid, at Jabal al-Zaweya, in Idlib province, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (AP)

The war between Syria’s dictator and most of his people is in its second, awful year.  Experts who disagree on a lot agree this will probably go on for years more.  The big guessing game now is… Who will be the victor once the tyrant is gone?

Will democratically-minded rebels take control and keep the country whole?  Will the warlords carve it into pieces?  Will the jihadis, the al Qaeda-type fighters who’ve been streaming in to Syria –And making real gains on the battlefield—end up on top?

This hour, On Point: From the chaos of the rebellion, trying to pick the winners.

Guests

Nour Malas, Beirut correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. (@malas_n)

Steven Heydemann, senior adviser for Middle East Initiatives at the United States Initiative of Peace.

Omar Hossino, researcher with the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, blogs at Syria Comment. (@joshua_landis)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “Syria’s military launched a new offensive on Homs and Hama, two central cities that are part of a corridor of territory from the western coast to the capital, Damascus, where the Syrian regime has focused on consolidating control, said diplomats, analysts and Syrian military defectors.”

CBS News “Secretary of State John Kerry said that there is ‘no guarantee’ that the weapons being given to the Syrian rebels won’t end up in the wrong hands, but he indicated the opposition is increasingly able to get those weapons into the hands of moderate rebels who do not have ties to extremist groups, reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.”

Foreign Policy “The secular and nationalist spirit that initially sparked the Syrian revolution is also still alive and well. Many grassroots activists and religious leaders are working to forge a country that is built on secular principles, against sectarian revenge, and supportive of equal rights for all its citizens. Even some of the sharia courts that have sprung up to administer justice in areas the Syrian government has abandoned contain surprising, nonsectarian trends.”

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