Syria: Winds of Change or Dust in the Wind?

Syrian Troops have ended their presence in Lebanon in what must be one of the most rapid policy reversals in the Middle East. There is talk of domestic reform at the Ba’ath party conference this month, but could it be enough to satisfy the clamour from Washington for regime change?

The World Today
4 minute READ

Rime Allaf

Omayad Square, Damascus’s inescapable central point where seven major roads converge, has become emblematic of the Syrian regime. Nearly two years ago, repairs began, aimed at reducing congestion by building an underground tunnel for cars going from Mezzeh to the Old City, freeing valuable space on the ground. The square quickly became, and remains, a massive construction site, driving Damascenes to despair, even though the tunnel has already opened.

The square was closed for several days in March, re-opening with no evidence that anything had actually improved. On the contrary, its level had risen well above the surrounding roads and buildings, making Damascenes dread the autumn and winter rains which promise to overflow into the imposing Assad Library, the recently-inaugurated opera house, and the distinctive television centre.

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