Yesterday, the European Union lifted the arms embargo placed on Syria, which will pave the way for the Syrian opposition to access arms directly from nations such as the UK and France as well as other sources.
The Syrian government is heavily armed by Russia and Iran while the Hezbollah from Lebanon also supports militarily, even while the arms embargo subsisted.
The thinking behind the lifting of the embargo is to strengthen the hand of the moderate Free Syrian Army, FSA to halt the recent defection of it’s fighters to radical Al Nusra group with ties to Al Qaeda whose activities in Syria has been more effective in attacking government forces because of the extreme measures they employ in carrying out their business.
The recent gains made by the Syrian government against rebel strongholds is also a factor to consider as one behind the decision of the EU to toe this line, including the issue of the use of chemical weapons purportedly by the Assad regime on it’s citizens (even though the government claims it’s being blackmailed by the rebels or freedom fighters, depending on whose side you’re on).
The idea however is to set the FSA back to winning ways to force the Assad government into agreeing to a political solution to the current imbroglio which has seen thousands of Syrians die and more than a million refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries.
It would appear that even if evidence of Syria’s government crossing the ‘Obama line’ was presented to the White House in black and white, the war weary USA will not move to put boots on the ground or even drones over the skies of Syria, the best the lovers of the Syrian opposition can hope for from this Obama administration is more of its ‘Leadership From Behind’ mantra.
After the Russians were dealt a raw deal in Libya, they seem to want to stand with Assad no matter what it will take, and even though they favour a political solution, they consent to one that will include the Syrian president, one aspect the western powers seem not to agree with.
The war in Syria can now bè officially said to bè in a stalemate, as surely some parts of Syria may never agree to bè ruled by Bashar Al-Assad again, and will seek to achieve their aim by all means necessary.
Lebanon has now totally become engulfed in the fight, with Lebanese sympathetic to both sides of the conflict crossing the border to fight on sides with which the owe and hold allegiance, while skirmishing within the streets of Lebanon.
Some areas in Lebanon have also endured bombardments from Syria, while border areas with Israel have been shelled from the Golan and more recently from Lebanon, showing the escalating nature of the conflict. This is not to discountenance earlier shellings of Turkish border areas, that prompted NATO to once again raise the issue of Missile Defence System to the chagrin of the Russians.
With all the above situation and much more prevailing, it has become pertinent that a political solution bè sought, one that is quite agreeable to all parties concerned.
It will appear that a post-Assad arrangement is one that is favoured by the majority both within and outside Syria. This is where the Russians and Chinese have a big role to play, but understandably they remain quite obstinate as they have always had to bè the ones to make concessions in the past when international diplomacy comes to play, hence their sticking with Assad now.
They also may bè thinking to use this as an opportunity tò send a message to others elsewhere that they never forget their allies. This position then places in jeopardy attempts at arriving at a peaceful solution in Syria.
Unfortunately, this is happening at a time America had become war weary!