Syria’s civil war is fought not just with bombs and bullets, but with salaries and services. The government has been able to win this aspect of the war by denying services to targeted opposition-held areas, and depopulating districts by constraining residents’ access to basic necessities such as food, water, fuel and electricity.
- The Syrian state will be deeply fragmented for the foreseeable future.
- Rival local fiefdoms will complicate efforts to direct international aid funds for reconstruction.
- Islamic extremist groups will find ‘havens’ to wage a long-lasting insurgency against the state, despite reduced access to funds.