Two recent developments indicate that Syria’s future is at an important crossroads.
In early May, the Arab league announced that it would re-admit Syria after a nearly 12-year suspension dating back to the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. In response, a bipartisan group of 35 U.S. lawmakers introduced the “Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023,” which, among other things, calls for an inter-agency “report of the steps the United States is taking to actively deter recognition or normalization of relations by other governments with the Assad regime.” It also expands the Caesar Act sanctions on the Syrian regime, which have been in place since 2020.
The Biden administration has also stated its opposition to the Arab League’s decision.
A Quincy Institute panel hosted on Friday sparked several moments of interesting debate between University of Oklahoma professorJoshua Landis, (who wrote recently for RS in favor of normalization), and former U.S. Ambassador William Roebuck, on the effectiveness of the Caesar Act sanctions and whether it makes sense to keep them in place.
See the exchange here:
Watch the full event, which also featured Quincy Institute senior research analyst Steve Simon, former Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey, and Duke University Law professor Mara Revkin, here: