Free Syrian Army fighter 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Aref Hretani)
While US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said after meeting on Monday that they wanted to hold negotiations for a
peaceful settlement to the Syrian crisis, the reality of fighting on the ground
made a mockery of their objective.
No peace deal or political solution is
coming to Syria soon. The opposition is divided, as outside powers such as
Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey jockey for influence among the various rebel
factions, and the distance between the rebels and Syrian President Bashar
Assad’s regime remains too far to bridge.
Assad has the wind at his back,
and with the support of Iran, China and Russia, he feels confident, not to
mention the most motivating factor at play – that the Alawite community is
fighting for its survival.
Moreover, the recent visit by US Senator John
McCain to the rebels
in Syria, of which the White House said on Tuesday it had
been informed of beforehand, is likely to raise the rebels’ confidence and their
will to continue the fight.
Emmanuel Navon, a lecturer in international
relations at Tel Aviv University and the IDC in Herzliya, told The Jerusalem
that the French have a history of involvement in Syria and are the main
European player in the country.
The French, he said, intervened in Libya
mainly because it imports a large amount of its oil from the country, and in
Mali it has an interest in the huge uranium deposits for its nuclear energy
Navon believes that the French or other European countries will
not intervene unless they are accompanied by the US. This is not Libya,
emphasized Navon, because he sees Syria as being a much more difficult
The Europeans are playing up to public opinion, trying to
“do something,” but in reality there is not much they are likely to do, said
Joel Parker, a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University who is closely
tracking developments in Syria, told the Post
that any European arms will not
have an effect for at least a few more months at the earliest.
that Britain and France will probably favor sending small amounts of arms, and
“it is not like they can just show up at the Syrian port of
They would have to find a way in through the back door, said
Parker, adding that it would take a while to have any impact on the
They would probably smuggle the weapons in through Jordan or Turkey,
and this could cause a military response by Syria, further enflaming the
The Sunni Arab media continues its pessimism regarding the
conflict, seeing the toppling of Assad as the only acceptable solution. As the
opposition has become bogged down, there have been increasing voices for the US
and the Europeans to intervene on their behalf.
A comment by Abdel Bari
Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Quds Al- Arabi
, reflects the
mood: “The region has reached a boiling point. The current stalemate is not in
the interest of any of the parties involved in the conflict, whether regional or
international. And so it is with bitterness and regret I say that the worst is
yet to come.”Reuters contributed to this report.
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