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The Syrian Civil War: How Will this End?

I remember, as a kid, hearing the phrases “Iraqi refugees,” “ten killed in Afghanistan,” and “the Iraq War,” these terms and others, eventually, becoming normal for me. Without context, the phrases seem routine. This is how it must feel for billions around the world, constantly hearing about the horrors of the Syrian Civil War, but packing them away as if it were just another day.

To an extent, it is. At the time of writing this piece, over 500,000 people have been killed, 96,000 of them civilians. War crimes are committed daily. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has gassed its own people on multiple occasions. Multiple foreign powers are involved, further complicating the already intractable conflict. With all of these facts, it is hard to predict just how such a humanitarian catastrophe will end.

Yet all one must know is this: as of August 2017, Assad is dangerously close to winning. The rebels are fighting among themselves, with the rebel groups Ahrar al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham having declared war on each other because of the latter’s repressive form of governance in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. Russia, and more importantly, Iran, have all but saved the regime from annihilation, with both countries threatening US forces that are stationed in the ea