Analysis | How Syria's Assad Prevaile...

Analysis | How Syria's Assad Prevailed, With the Help of Friends: QuickTake

It's the land where the Arab Spring collided with a dictatorship determined to stay in power. For decades, Syria's leaders imposed stability on the country's mix of religious and ethnic groups. Then civil war erupted in 2011. Secular Syrians, homegrown Islamist radicals and foreign Sunni jihadists have battled forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and — at times — each other. The conflict fed the growth of the al-Qaeda spinoff Islamic State, which used the turmoil to conquer territory in Syria and Iraq. In its eighth year, the war is entering what could be its final phase, with Assad and his backers — Russia, Iran and the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah — prevailing. It's a costly victory: an estimated 511,00 people — about 1 in 43 citizens — have been killed, with much of the country's roads, factories, hospitals, schools and homes destroyed. The Situation

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