When the 193-member General Assembly voted Wednesday to condemn the beleaguered government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, there was an increase in the number of sceptics who neither supported nor opposed the tottering regime in Damascus.
The surprise accord reached by the U.S. and Russia in Moscow Tuesday to try to convene an international conference to resolve the two-year-old civil war in Syria as soon as the end of this month has been greeted with equal measures of hope and scepticism.
A White House letter
Thursday to Congressional leaders suggesting chemical weapons use by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad has reignited debate about direct U.S. military involvement in the war-torn country.
Air strikes have hit bakeries and hospitals among other civilian targets in Syria, a rights watchdog reported Thursday, accusing the Syrian government of killing thousands in such raids it said amounted to war crimes.
At seven o’clock in the morning on Mar. 1, Kurdish militias took over the only operational oil refinery in Syria, located about 800 kilometres northwest of Damascus.
Tunisian families have begun to dread knocks on their doors, or late-night phone calls, fearing that the messenger will bear the news that their son has been smuggled out of the country to join the “jihad” in Syria.
Though President Barack Obama has been reticent to involve his administration too deeply in the Syrian uprising, revelations over the past week have shown near-unanimous agreement among the president’s top national security advisors for greater military intervention.
It must be considered pure fortuity for the Islamic Republic of Iran that the decision to hold the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran was made three years ago in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
As violence in Syria spikes after a short lull, the prospect of international military intervention appears to be growing by the day. Earlier this week, almost exactly one year after President Barack Obama first called on Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad to step down, Obama warned of "enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons".
Intervention in Syria was "only a matter of time", wrote Emile Nakhleh in February in the Financial Times. Seven months later, the fighting and divisions within Syria continue to worsen. Now, a diplomatic solution is no longer possible, Nakhleh, a retired CIA analyst, believes.
As the Syrian army has stepped up its attacks against opposition strongholds in Homs and elsewhere, the U.S. and its allies have achieved little consensus in choosing a course of action to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
The United Nations, which remains politically deadlocked over the drawn-out crisis in Syria, has hit another roadblock, this time over humanitarian assistance to the thousands of men, women and children caught up in the 11-month-old conflict.