The Obama administration is exploring how to "deal with" the possibility of a civil war among Syria’s many factions once President Bashar al-Assad is toppled or steps down, The New York Times reports.
Determined to avoid a repeat of the sectarian violence that ensued in Iraq after the American invasion, the U.S. is working with Turkey to develop its policy in case of conflict among Syria's sects and religious groups after the fall of Assad, who is still hanging on to power despite mass uprisings and international calls for him to step down.
The U.S. anticipates that Assad, increasingly isolated financially and diplomatically, will eventually lose power one way or another. Amb. Robert Ford remains in the country to continue discussions with leaders of the opposition, which includes Alawite, Druse, Christian, and Sunni sects.
President Obama will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Tuesday, where Syria is “sure to be discussed,” The Times reports.