Nothing much happening at Strange Times so I’m hoping to kick-start some new links to information and analysis – and discussion – about Syria.
Hoping to set this up as a separate page soon. But for now… contributions welcome.
Just to start things off:
- The ceasefire, which some people regarded as doomed to failure before it had even started, has been working, in the main, for nearly six weeks now. It has provided breathing space, with parts of Syria under rebel control able to commence reorganisation of their localities. For the first time in years, Syrians have been able to take to the streets again demanding the regime’s overthrow. Some humanitarian aid is getting through where needed, but this is still a problem area in places where the regime is obstructing aid delivery – and further isolating itself (and strengthening the case for miltiary intervention on the side of the pro-democratic forces).
- Assad is increasingly isolated, with Putin looking for a way out and supporting the UN transitional plan; a plan that means the end of Assad’s rule.
- The more Assad rejects the transitional plan, the more he isolates himself. Alawites – his base of support – are distancing themselves from him.
- The next round of talks might happen within a week. The co-ordinator for the Higher Negotiation Committee has said that there is no international will, especially from the US, which means that the rebels continue to want greater international involvement and support, especially from the US.
- As the talks progress and the regime remains more intransigent and isolated, the need for some form of military ‘boots on the ground’ will become more acceptable as a way of resolving the situation and allowing the transition’s timetable to be followed in an effective way. A ‘coalition of the willing’ will be required to ensure that the terms of the transition are enforced, and that the Syrian people will be able to assert their sovereignty in free and fair democratic elections as aimed for in the timetable.
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