Syria Opening the Road to Damascus

Opening the Road to Damascus Assad, ever the survivor, seems to soften his hard-line stance

For centuries the route to Damascus has posed a challenge to travelers. The Syrian capital is walled away from the West and from the Mediterranean by the double massif of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges, rising to 10,000 ft. In other directions, the city is surrounded by the Badiya as-Sham, the great Syrian Desert, where, for seven months of the year, the relentless sun becomes a blinding enemy. But while the physical obstacles to Damascus remain, other barriers appear to be falling. Its economy in tatters, its army mired in Lebanon and its alignment with Iran a growing burden, Syria appears...

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