Recently, a prominent Lebanese politician well attuned to the twists and turns of the Middle East expressed concern about the future of Syria. He was displeased with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that certain countries were willing to send peacekeeping forces there in the event of a settlement, and that one of their objectives would be to protect minorities.
A second news story could not have reassured him. It came from the Sunday Times suggesting that President Bashar Al Assad of Syria had surrendered only a tiny portion of his chemical and biological weapons. He is allegedly hoarding them, the newspaper reported, in areas controlled by his Alawite community, as an insurance policy in case Syria is eventually partitioned.