Don't overthrow a regime till you know who’ll replace it —Mike Eisenstadt, Washington Inst (@meisenstadt58)
Drawing: Diagram of barrel bombs on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter
Mike Eisenstadt, Washington Institute (@meisenstadt58); anent Syria. The Syrian goal has been to return to itself control of the land. Problems: Turks; massive overcrowding; populations shipped from all over to Idlib (“dead-enders”). Turkey is afraid of refugees’ entering Turkey and wants to keep things as they are.
The US is liable to strike very hard; Assad regime may be preparing use chlorine gas. Regime is warning that rebels are taking chemical into Idlib, which is simply not possible, so it’s a tactic to permit the regime to use them. In fact, the true WMD in Syria are barrel bombs, artillery and small arms. . . . Don't overthrow a regime till you know who’ll replace it. Erdogan’s risks in Syria: he’d like to preserve the Idlib status quo, having groups in there under his influence; he hates Assad; Iran is setting up beachheads in Syria from which to launch attacks against Israel. Is Erdogan willing to live with these monsters on his borders? Yup. He has pretty good relations with Salafist groups in there.
Michael Eisenstadt is the Kahn Fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program. A specialist in Persian Gulf and Arab-Israeli security affairs, he has published widely on irregular and conventional warfare, and nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East. Prior to joining the Institute in 1989, Mr. Eisenstadt worked as a military analyst with the U.S. government.