“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. 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 (Isil) 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 Assad’s days were numbered.”
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