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Washington can either accede to an Iranian-orchestrated military victory for Bashar Assad's regime in western Syria and to the rise of Al-Qaeda-affiliated gangs elsewhere, or help Syrians undo that victory, neutralize Al-Qaeda and shape Syria's political future.For Tehran Assad is irreplaceable. He has, over the years, proven his willingness to subordinate Syria to Iran on Hezbollah. With evident pride two claims are being made: Iran has secured a military victory in Syria; and Iran's western border now touches the Mediterranean.Eastern Syria has, however, attracted the attention of the U.S., its European allies and Syria's neighbors.Clearly the division of Syria between two sets of transnational terrorists using Islam to justify murder and mayhem – Iran, Hezbollah and others on one side, and Al-Qaeda mixed in with others on the other – poses a national security threat to the U.S., its allies, and all of Syria's neighbors. The choice is clear: Accede to the division of Syria by terrorists, or make a meaningful effort empowering Syrians willing to fight for an independent Syria.
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