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The Syrian Civil War

For some, the Syrian civil war is a fight for survival. The minority Alawites that dominate the government — such as it is — face the prospect of persecution if they lose, and the assorted Sunnis who oppose them face the prospect of violent reprisal if they lose. But for others, the Syrian civil war is an opportunity. Turkey is using the conflict to advance its interests in the region — interests that include curbing Kurdish expansion. Iran is trying to preserve its arc of influence, which extends to the Mediterranean Sea, in the face of staunch Sunni opposition. Russia is using the war as leverage in broader negotiations with the United States, which is itself working to disable terrorist organizations there. Conflicting agendas in such an already chaotic environment will keep an enduring resolution to the conflict beyond reach.

For some, the Syrian civil war is a fight for survival. For Turkey, Iran, the United States and Russia, it is an opportunity.
(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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