A few obscure facts about the war from various sources ...
The number of refugees in Lebanon just passed 900,000 people in a comically-exact 197,409 households according to the United Nations. More on their conditions of life here and on their effects on Lebanon here. Regardless, the numbers are astounding: it is the equivalent of 7.2 million refugees arriving in Canada over a two-year period. We have a lot of Canadian readers here; what would happen?
The Syrian government is still vulnerable to what once would have been called “sabotage” within its own territory. Attacks continue to disrupt natural gas supplies to power plants. One way to know if a government victory is possible is the reduction of such attacks to the level of nuisance. Unless that happens, then government forces will continue to be tied down in policing their own notional territory.
It seems, disappointingly, that we here at TPTM were not the first to analyze the black market rate of the Syrian pound. It is, I suppose, reassuring that other analysts being asked have come to the same conclusion that we did, namely that the markets are bullish on regime survival. That said, I am not greatly reassured. I used to think dollarization was a great idea but empirical evidence has convinced me otherwise, so I find it hard to receive intellectual comfort from those who still hew to that old-time religion.
Finally, the manufacturing sector has held up surprisingly well. Aleppo appears to have been wrecked, but there seems to have been rather little physical damage elsewhere. Once the violence ends, I predict a rapid rebound in economic recovery. The real problem will not be the war damage to buildings and roads and sewers; it will be the lost education of a generation of children and the disappearance of the refugees who may never return.