Syrians gather between damaged buildings in the predominantly Christian and Armenian neighborhood of Suleimaniyeh. (SANA via AP, File)
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Syria has already been shattered by more than four years of civil war, and with no solution in sight, some players on the ground and observers outside have concluded its fate will be to break up along sectarian or regional lines – in a best-case scenario, tenuously held together by a less centralized state.The sectarian dynamic was evident last week in a U.N.-backed truce deal in the key Zabadani region near the Lebanese border which reportedly envisions the transfer of thousands of Shiites and Sunni fighters from one area to another.ISIS controls much of the Sunni heartland in the east.Awarded the area to become modern Syria, the French in the 1920s toyed with the idea of ethnically cohesive statelets. They envisioned six areas, including the State of Alawites, a state for the Druze and a State of Aleppo. Partition appears more possible along a country's recognized internal borders or in cases where the ethnic or sectarian map is fairly clear.Alawites and other minorities such as Christians and Druze have mostly fled predominantly Sunni opposition-held areas.Abdul-Hai said total partition was impractical for the Druze, whose population of a few hundred thousand is not enough to go it alone.Assad remains publicly committed to a unified Syria.
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