After a 3-week siege, the combined forces of Hezbollah and the Assad regime have taken the important crossroads town of Qusayr. “Whoever controls Qusayr controls the center of the country and whoever controls the center of the controls control all of Syria”. Although the deployment of large scale and well-trained Hezbollah forces is also making a difference elsewhere in Syria. If they retake Aleppo, the effects on Syrian opposition could be crushing. As former Obama state Dept. adviser Nasr writes: “Irans gains have embarrassed the US allies that support the Iran’s uprising what’s more Iran has strengthened its relationship with Russia which may prove to be the most important strategic consequence of the Syrian conflict, should the US continue to sit it out”.
Even the Bush-basher ought to acknowledge that compared with where we are now, 2008 was the surge forced a halt to civil war in Iraq and the foundations were laid for similar efforts in AFG—represented a high-water mark of American power and influence in the region.
But the tide of war turned with President Obama’s decision to put a time clock on the AFG surge. From that moment the region increasingly has discounted the durability of the American commitment.
The Syria war is now a regional conflict pitting an Iranian-Shia bloc against a looser Saudi-led Sunni bloc that included other gulf state and various al Qaeda associates. Indeed if Qusayr is any kind of leading indicator it signal that the war is likely to continue and to continue to expand; it’s already spilled over in Lebanon western Iraq and northern Jordan.
Source—weekly standard, Thomas donnelly