The Day After: US, Turkey Plan for Post-Assad Syria

Clinton Heads to Istanbul for High Profile Meeting on Syria's Future Regime

by Jason Ditz, August 10, 2012

Fresh off of meetings in Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Istanbul to meet with top Turkish officials about the imposition of a new regime in Syria upon the completion of the ongoing civil war.

The talks will include members of certain pro-Western factions of the rebel movement, and will involve pushing for additional US pledges of support for the rebels and promises to back certain parties in conquering the nation.

The whole idea of such talks seems premature, as the civil war seems to be far from over and the fight for the largest city of Aleppo remains stalemated after two solid weeks of clashes. Despite repeated Western predictions of victory, the rebels don’t seem anywhere near taking over Syria.

Rather the talks may focus in the interim on the more modest attempts to establish a UN humanitarian zone is northern Syria for civilians to escape the fighting. This too is likely to be a complicated matter, as the US has openly talked about making the “safezone” a base of operations for the rebels, which would defeat the purpose of a humanitarian zone and would also amount to UN backing for the rebels, something Russia and China will almost certainly reject.

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