The failure of US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday, at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico to agree on terms for Syria and Iran holds the potential for three equally dire scenarios to unfold in Syria:
It could degenerate into another Afghanistan; or another Balkans, or al Qaeda’s next war arena.
Potentially counterpoised in Syria today are, on the one side, the United States, Europe and their Arab allies; on the other, are Russia, China, Iran and Hizballah.
The last group is preparing to show its muscle with a vast joint military exercise in Syria.
Al Qaeda has begun to seep through the cracks.
The Assad regime is not just shedding blood but bleeding itself But it stays alive because 40 percent of the Syrian population is behind it and the rebel movement is deeply fractured.
Syria is therefore in the process of breaking up into three balkanized segments:
The United States and its European and Arab allies in the northern, central and eastern regions.
The Russians, along the Mediterranean coastal strip. Russian warships are on their way to secure their base at Tartus.
In these circumstances, Iran and HIzballah will intensify their effort to prop up the Assad regime and solidify their grip in Damascus.
So three world forces may end up dividing Syria up between them.
Al Qaeda will have achieved its object of corralling America and Russia on one unruly territory and easily within reach of attack.