- Syrian conflict could engulf region in struggle between Sunni and Shia
- Already claimed 93,000 lives and made 1.6million people refugees
- UK, France and U.S. taken different side to China and Russia
The crisis in Syria may appear to be no more or less than a civil war in a country many people would struggle to place on a map.
But it’s much more than that: it is rapidly becoming a sectarian struggle for power that is bleeding across the Middle East, with the potential to engulf the entire region in a deadly power struggle between two bitterly opposed Muslim ideologies, Sunni and Shia.
Already, the war inside Syria has resulted in 93,000 dead and 1.6 million refugees, with millions more displaced internally. And those figures are escalating rapidly amid reports of appalling atrocities on both sides.
Vladimir Putin will fly to Britain a day before next week’s G8 summit for talks with David Cameron on the conflict in Syria, the British prime minister announced Wednesday. Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has with the United States proposed an international peace conference to get the two sides in the conflict to the negotiating table.
However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned at the weekend that military gains made by the Assad regime, including taking back the Qusayr region near the Lebanese border from the rebels, made peace more elusive. During Cameron’s weekly question-and-answer session in the Commons, the opposition Labor leader accused him of neglecting efforts for peace in favor of pushing the EU to drop its embargo on providing weapons to the Syrian rebels.
U.S. ready to impose limited no-fly zone in Syria