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Possible impact of Syrian crisis in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 19
The crisis in Syria has gone on for more than a year. Though it has had no effect on Georgia so far, some political analysts believe that it could eventually have an impact on our country.

In some respects, the Syrian conflict has already had an impact on the situation in Georgia. This can be illustrated by the fact that the breakaway Abkhaz government has already received and accommodated 13 families of Abkhaz origin from Syria. The separatists gave these families houses once belonging to Georgians who were forced to leave the territory due to ethnic cleansing. Reports suggest that there are four more families that will be accommodated in Sokhumi and some allegedly will be settled in Abkhazia.

There is another possible development that could adversely affect the situation in Georgia. If NATO member countries led by the US get involved in the Syrian crisis, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Russia will decide to reinforce its military base in Gumri, Armenia. Because there is no land connection between Russia and Armenia, the shortest way is to get there is through Georgia. Russia in turn could potentially demand that Georgia provide it a corridor between Tskhinvali and the Armenian border. Russian analysts have already touched upon this possibility while discussing a possible Western-led attack on Iran. Though many see only minimal chance of direct Western involvement in Syria, this still remains a possibility.