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Former U.N. envoy to Syria: Country destined to be a 'failed state'

"It will become another Somalia. It will not be divided, as many have predicted. It's going to be a failed state, with warlords all over the place."
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   June 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM
ALEPPO, Syria, June 9 (UPI) -- Lakhdar Brahimi, the former U.N. envoy to Syria, said he believes that the embattled country may be beyond hope.

In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, Brahimi, who stepped down in May, said he lost faith in the peace negotiations while preparing for the Geneva II conference, where eh believes the two delegations were dragged "kicking and screaming, against their will."

"It will become another Somalia. It will not be divided, as many have predicted. It's going to be a failed state, with warlords all over the place," Brahimi predicted.

When asked if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad knew about what his regime was doing, Brahimi said "100 percent."

"He knows a hell of a lot. Maybe he doesn't know every single detail of what is happening, but I'm sure he is aware that people are being tortured, that people are being killed, that bombs are being thrown, that cities are being destroyed. He cannot ignore the fact that there are 2.5 million refugees. That number is going to be 4 million next year, and there are 6 million people who are internally displaced. He knows that there are 50,000 to 100,000 people in his jails. And that some of them are tortured every day."

Brahimi said another threat is the presence of jihadi groups including ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), which is not only threatening Syria, but also the surrounding areas of Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. He warned that unless there is a concentrated political effort to find a solution, the entire region could be destabilized.

"Unless there is a real, sustained effort to work out a political solution, there is a serious risk that the entire region will blow up. The conflict is not going to stay inside Syria. It will spill over into the region."

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