People inspect damage at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's district of al-Sukari March 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Hosam Katan)
Dividing the pie
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The brutal war in Syria could grind on for a decade as Iran and Russia prop up President Bashar Assad's regime and jihadist groups flood the battlefield, experts warned Thursday.Assad has chosen a deliberate "Machiavellian strategy" of standing by while militant groups such as the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) flourish, leaving the U.S.-backed moderate opposition fighting on two fronts, lawmakers were told.140,000 people have been killed, another 2.5 million Syrians have fled across the borders and a further 6.5 million are displaced inside the country.Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns denied however that the U.S. administration believed it was now better for Assad to remain in place as extremists posed a greater threat to America's national security.
Dividing the pie
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