Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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The Logic of the Chemical Attack

Hassan Mneimneh

The battle for the suburbs of Damascus was nearing its end. The regime units — equipped, backed, and supplemented by Russian and Iranian forces — were on the verge of achieving total victory: the defeat of all rebel factions, the expulsion of a population that had demonstrated its lack of loyalty to the regime, and the plundering of all items of any value in the conquered territory. For the Damascus regime to engage in a chemical attack at such a juncture, provoking international condemnation and risking the derailing of its march to victory may thus appear to be a gross miscalculation.

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How Syria Came to This

Andrew J. Tabler

The Douma chemical attacks are only the latest chapter in a long story of ethnic and sectarian conflict, international connivance, and above all civilian suffering.

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In Focus: Red Lines and Options in Syria
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and senior Syrian generals.

Congressional Testimony

Syria After the Missile Strikes: Policy Options

Michael Singh

A former National Security Council director spells out how Washington should follow up on its efforts to deter Assad's atrocities, keeping in mind that a broad campaign to 'solve' the Syria conflict would be futile in the near term.