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Syria war may last 10 more years: Experts

Published on Mar 7, 2014 6:28 AM
 
A boy cries as he stands amid rubble of collapsed buildings at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Sakhour district on March 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The brutal war in Syria could grind on for a decade as Iran and Russia prop up President Bashar al-Assad's regime and jihadist groups flood the battlefield, experts warned on Thursday.

Mr Assad has chosen a deliberate "Machiavellian strategy" of standing by while militant groups such as al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant flourish, leaving the US-backed moderate opposition fighting on two fronts, lawmakers were told.

"It's now clear that Assad's fall is not the inevitability that many analysts believed a year ago," said analyst Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, referring to former confident predictions by the US administration that Mr Assad's days were numbered.

"The likeliest scenario is that which the US intelligence community now predicts, which is the war continuing for another decade or more," he told the Senate foreign relations committee.

 
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