The Middle East Channel

Twisting Assad’s arm

A little over two years ago, I had to leave my eight-year career as a journalist in Damascus because of a report I had written on the Syrian opposition that the regime didn’t like. Since arriving in Washington, I’ve had the pleasure to share views on the Syrian regime with well-meaning U.S. officials charged with ...

JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images
JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images

A little over two years ago, I had to leave my eight-year career as a journalist in Damascus because of a report I had written on the Syrian opposition that the regime didn’t like. Since arriving in Washington, I’ve had the pleasure to share views on the Syrian regime with well-meaning U.S. officials charged with engaging my former home base. But it’s become something of a mantra in Washington — as the regime has perpetrated a brutal crackdown on opposition activists — that the United States simply has no leverage in Syria.

But after sitting through countless discussions about President Bashar al-Assad and his Alawite-dominated government — especially since the protests erupted in recent weeks — it is now clear to me that the problem isn’t a lack of leverage, but the strategy being used.

Read more.

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola