Author Archives: Andrew Tabler

Hardliner city

Hardliner city

Reading Time: 3 minutes Until recently, Syria bucked the age-old political dictum that regimes under intense external pressure halt domestic reforms until the coast is clear. The country’s 10th Five Year Plan, approved a year after Syrians were named suspects in the murder of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, introduced a slew of economic and social reforms

The ‘Shiitization’ of Syria

Reading Time: 3 minutes The latest conspiracy theory to grip the Middle East is theShiite Crescent – an emerging Iranian-backed Shiite alliancestretching westward from Iran to Lebanon that threatensAmerica’s Sunni allies in the region. In the arch’skeystone, Syria, many say a Shiite takeover is in the works.Syria is majority Sunni Muslim, but it is ruled by the Assadregime, which

Days of decision for damascus

Reading Time: 3 minutes Few Syria observers ventured a guess at the New Year as to what the coming 365 days may hold for the country. The region’s topsy-turvy politics is the primary reason, but so is a trait unique to Syria: its seeming inability to set targets and meet them. The final date of the June 2005 Baath

A year of setbacks for syria

Reading Time: 6 minutes 2005 was a year Syria would probably much rather forget. If the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri was a political earthquake in Lebanon, its aftershocks were felt strongest in Damascus. It was a hard pill to swallow for most Syrians. The Syrian military, which had lost thousands of troops during its 29-year-long sojourn

Lebanon and syria which needs the other more?

Reading Time: 8 minutes As the border crisis between Lebanon and Syria unfolded over the last two months, the bars of Beirut and the family restaurants of the Old City of Damascus were host to boisterous and often heated conversations on how it was time for each country to “go it alone.” The fallout from the late prime minister

The economic relationship

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the current political furor, it must be remembered that the Lebanese and Syrian economies are and have been strongly interdependent – a situation that predates Syria’s military intervention in 1976 and will probably remain so in the short to medium term. Prior to former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, the Lebanese economy was finally