The average civil war lasts five to seven years but the conflict in Syria has the potential to go on for longer than that because of complications like schisms between fighting groups and intervention from outside the country, Daniel Wagner of Country Risk Solutions, a US-based risk advisory firm, told Radio Sputnik.
"Prior to the 1990s most of the conflicts ended in victories, but since then most of them have either ended by outright victory or a negotiated settlement."
While the victories since then have been evenly split between the opposition and governments, there is a general tendency to push for negotiated settlements, but these tend not to be resilient, Wagner warned.
"In Syria this is further complicated by the fact that there is no clear sense which parties should even be invited to the negotiating table, much less their own realistic objectives. Until that is achieved, the conditions do not appear to be right for a negotiated settlement."
The Obama administration's attitude towards Turkey and its military build-up on the Syrian border is to a large extent driven by Turkey's NATO membership, and the US's anti-Russian orientation, Wagner said.
"I see a slow ramp-up of actions in Syria by the Obama administration prior to its departure from office, but I do not expect a major departure from what it has already done or not done in this conflict."
"A resolution to this conflict is likely to occur when the next president takes office, sometime next year."