July 16, 2014
On Wednesday, al-Assad was sworn in for his third term.
It’s an outcome pretty much everyone expected — not because he is popularly adored, but because his family has ruled Syria since 1971. And no real contender ran against him.
Three years of civil war have left much of the country in shambles. While regime helicopters drop barrel bombs on opposition neighborhoods, dissidents say, the government maintains its stance that it’s only fighting terrorists.
As if the civil war wasn’t enough, the radical Sunni group Islamic State in Iraq in Syria is using this opportunity to carve its own swath of territory from the Iraq border to deep inside Syria.
The United Nations says more than 150,000 people have been killed in the past three years. But at this point, many have stopped counting.
“No one is winning; no one can win,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “Even if one side were to prevail in the short term, the devastating toll will have sown the seeds of future conflict.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/world/meast/mideast-region-in-flames/index.html?hpt=hp_t2