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RFE/RL Reports: Government, Rebel Allies Line Up In Syria

A Free Syrian Army fighter watches US President Barack Obama's speech with his family in Ghouta, Damascus, August 31, 2013
As the world debates how to respond to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons, RFE/RL examines what's at stake should the U.S. enter the Syrian conflict.


# As the possibility of a U.S.-led military intervention looms larger, what are U.S. military options and considerations in Syria, and would they be legal?

# Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's two main allies, Iran and Russia, weigh potential responses.

# Among the likely diplomatic casualties is optimism of a possible thaw in U.S. relations with Iran. But Iran also walks a fine line with Syria, feeling the need to condemn the use of chemical weapons while at the same time warning against military intervention.

# Many foreigners are already on the Syrian battleground, including fighters from the Balkans, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Turkey, with the latter two countries watching the violence spill into Arab- and Kurd-populated regions that border Syria.

# INFOGRAPHIC: The complex, often contradictory alliances/relations among Middle East nations and actors and big international powers.

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