Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, shocked many observers by his recent comments concerning the question that is continually ignored, “what happens in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad is compelled to surrender power?” Which group or groups would then emerge to take over power and run the country? In other words, if Assad and his Alawites are compelled to give up power, would Islamists connected to al-Qaeda or other such extremist groups then emerge, seize power, and create a new civil war between those seeking an Islamist society and those desiring a more secular one? For those who have forgotten, the United States defeated secular ruler Saddam Hussein and brought into Iraq, the men of al-Qaeda who have transformed the country into a hell hole of violence and murder that makes difficult getting through a day without some bombing that leaves dozens killed or wounded.
So, what next for Syria? If Assad left tomorrow, there would be not one, but at least three civil wars, taking place in Syria. This is not to argue for retaining Assad, but to urge calm and thought concerning what happens if he decides to leave. Does anyone have any plans??