(Image Source: CNN)


BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR NATHAN BYRNE


On Sunday, massive protests took place in the Syrian capital of Damascus. But while the opposition may be moving into president Bashar al-Assad’s backyard, U.S. General Michael Hayden says the situation in Syria has reached a kind of violent stasis, with neither side showing signs of backing down.

Gen: Hayden: “You’ve got a government who’s got no political process whatsoever, an opposition that won’t go away, and a president in Bashar al-Assad who actually still believes he can kill his way out of this dilemma.”

But how long can Assad keep up the fight? An analyst tells the BBC international sanctions are draining the government’s reserves fast, but don’t expect the government to be open to negotiations for several more months.

“Maximum six months — they’ll have to sit and talk, or at least they have to stop killing. And the minute they stop killing, more millions of people will be on the streets, so they are in Catch-22, you know?”

One possible way out for Assad is to regain legitimacy through reform. The country is set to have a referendum on Feb. 26 over a new constitution. But opposition leaders have pledged to boycott it. And the Economist adds, the idea of a free and fair vote in Syria at the moment is pretty far-fetched, saying quote…


“The combination of ruthless repression and reform appears to be Mr Assad’s plan for resolving the trouble that has roiled his country for 11 months. … Yet it is hard to see how, under Syria’s lawless conditions, a referendum could be carried out. It is even harder to see how it would have any credibility.”

Some in the U.S. are calling for intervention to break the Syrian deadlock, similar to the aid given to rebels in Libya. But on MSNBC, Representative Peter Welch says the Syrian army is too strong and international cooperation too weak to repeat the Libya mission.

Rep. Welch: “We don’t have the international support, and right now it doesn’t look like it could be the limited kind of mission that we had in Libya. So those are sobering realities, painful as it is to acknowledge.”

What’s more, it’s not clear who the aid would go to. The Syrian National Council is one of the more highly visible opposition groups, but Al Jazeera reports it lacks support on the ground.

“The SNC may have little following inside Syria, particularly among the Kurdish community, the largest minority which still hasn’t thrown its full weight behind the uprising.”

And, reports say Al Qaeda is becoming involved in the opposition. U.S. intelligence experts warn the longer the violence in Syria continues, the more radical groups will work their way into the conflict.
 

Analysts: No End in Sight for Syria

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Feb 19, 2012

Analysts: No End in Sight for Syria

(Image Source: CNN)


BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR NATHAN BYRNE


On Sunday, massive protests took place in the Syrian capital of Damascus. But while the opposition may be moving into president Bashar al-Assad’s backyard, U.S. General Michael Hayden says the situation in Syria has reached a kind of violent stasis, with neither side showing signs of backing down.

Gen: Hayden: “You’ve got a government who’s got no political process whatsoever, an opposition that won’t go away, and a president in Bashar al-Assad who actually still believes he can kill his way out of this dilemma.”

But how long can Assad keep up the fight? An analyst tells the BBC international sanctions are draining the government’s reserves fast, but don’t expect the government to be open to negotiations for several more months.

“Maximum six months — they’ll have to sit and talk, or at least they have to stop killing. And the minute they stop killing, more millions of people will be on the streets, so they are in Catch-22, you know?”

One possible way out for Assad is to regain legitimacy through reform. The country is set to have a referendum on Feb. 26 over a new constitution. But opposition leaders have pledged to boycott it. And the Economist adds, the idea of a free and fair vote in Syria at the moment is pretty far-fetched, saying quote…


“The combination of ruthless repression and reform appears to be Mr Assad’s plan for resolving the trouble that has roiled his country for 11 months. … Yet it is hard to see how, under Syria’s lawless conditions, a referendum could be carried out. It is even harder to see how it would have any credibility.”

Some in the U.S. are calling for intervention to break the Syrian deadlock, similar to the aid given to rebels in Libya. But on MSNBC, Representative Peter Welch says the Syrian army is too strong and international cooperation too weak to repeat the Libya mission.

Rep. Welch: “We don’t have the international support, and right now it doesn’t look like it could be the limited kind of mission that we had in Libya. So those are sobering realities, painful as it is to acknowledge.”

What’s more, it’s not clear who the aid would go to. The Syrian National Council is one of the more highly visible opposition groups, but Al Jazeera reports it lacks support on the ground.

“The SNC may have little following inside Syria, particularly among the Kurdish community, the largest minority which still hasn’t thrown its full weight behind the uprising.”

And, reports say Al Qaeda is becoming involved in the opposition. U.S. intelligence experts warn the longer the violence in Syria continues, the more radical groups will work their way into the conflict.
 

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