20 April 2012

What Are The Options in Syria?

We saw earlier what a former Syrian army commander thinks could be accomplished with an intervention, but is that realistic?

But what other options? Clinton told the meeting that the U.S. would aid opposition groups with more communications and logistics equipment, and that she favored new U.N. sanctions to impose an arms embargo and travel restrictions against Assad's regime. Those measures, however, are likely to be rejected by Syria's major allies, Russia and China, both of which have veto powers at the U.N. Security Council and refused to join Thursday's meeting in Paris.

Clearly frustrated at the inability of Western and Arab leaders to end the Arab Spring's bloodiest conflict, both Clinton and Juppé have described Annan's cease-fire agreement as a make-or-break deal, which could trigger far tougher action against Assad if it fell apart. Clinton described the plan in Brussels on Wednesday as Assad's "last chance," while Juppé told reporters on Thursday that leaders would "look at what new measures need to be taken" if Assad violates the terms of the cease-fire.

One thing is for certain, whatever agreement there is on the terms of the monitoring mission, you can bet the Syrians will break it.

Syria and the United Nations signed an agreement on Thursday on terms for hundreds of observers to monitor a ceasefire, but fierce diplomatic wrangling lies ahead to persuade the West the mission can have the authority and power to ensure peace.
A handful of U.N. observers are already in Syria monitoring a week-old truce that has failed to stop bloodshed. The question of whether the mission can expand while violence continues is up in the air. A crowd mobbed the head of the advance party on Thursday, some demanding the death of President Bashar al-Assad.
The U.N. Security Council - divided between Western countries that want to topple Assad and Russia and China, which support him - must agree the proposal to send a larger observer force. Russia made clear it wants the 15-member council to move now to expand the small mission, while the West is hesitating.

By: Brant

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