Nearly eight years into a devastating war and with victory in sight, Syrian President Bashar Assad looks set to be freed from his isolation in the Arab world in 2019.
Syria was booted out of the Arab League seven years ago as Arab states recalled their ambassadors, and Gulf Arab states shuttered their embassies to isolate the Assad regime amid a crackdown on protesters and descent into civil war.
Now Arab states are seeking to reconcile with Assad, who with the support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, controls more than two-thirds of the country following decisive battlefield victories against rebels and jihadis over the past three years.
Such a drive to bring Syria back into the Arab fold would be a major victory for the cash-strapped Assad regime, which faces Western sanctions and needs an estimated $400 billion (€350 billion) to reconstruct the war-torn country. [Continue reading…]