Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Separate Alawite State Would be a "Disaster" - Financial Times

Syria's chemical weapons sites - two already exist in Alawi area near Latakia
As I noted in my previous post, I believe that it is increasingly obvious that Assad regime and its' Alawite allies have as their "Plan B" the creation of a separate Alawite state in the West of Syria along the Mediterranean Sea.  The Financial Times was out with an excellent article this past Sunday analyzing what the effect of a separate Alawite state would be, and their conclusion is that it would be a disaster rife with consequences.  The FT mentions four negative effects that a separate Alawite enclave would cause:

  1. An alawite enclave would not be a recognized state, and like other separate enclaves such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia  in Georgia or Transnistria in Moldova.  These areas have become havens for drug trafficking, terrorists and weapons sales.  An alawite "state" might well be something similar.
  2. To protect itself, it would be heavily armed, and might well be supported by Iran and Russia. It is a near certainty that both Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence or revolutionary guards would find a welcome home in the new "Alawistan".  
  3. The rump alawite state could also spread instability to Lebanon to its south and Turkey to its north.  I wrote a post several weeks ago describing how Sunnis and Alawites have already clashed violently in the Lebanese city of Tripoli - a city which is in the north of Lebanon quite near the possible "Alawistan".     
  4. Finally, given that the Assad regime possesses huge stores of chemical weapons, it is highly probable that some of these would be taken by the Assad regime into its new Alawi state.  The Alawites would look at these chemical weapons in a similar fashion to how the Israelis view their nuclear arsenal (undeclared but quite real) - as an Alawite "Sampson option" that would guarantee the survival of new Alawite state.

The FT article is a sober read  (Note:  free registration on FT is required).  Maps of the other breakaway rump "states" are below.
The "country"Transnistria - a haven for arms smugglers and sex traffickers
Georgian breakaway ethnic "states" - will the same happen with the Alawites in Syria?

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