Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria: Perceptions of the fall of the regime | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Two months ago, we were hopeful that the Syrian crisis would end with President Bashar al-Assad implementing realistic reform. We were anticipating the Syrian President issuing a last minute speech [offering reforms], particularly after it became clear that the government’s policy of suppression had only further aggravated the Syrian uprising, but this did not happen. Over the past two weeks, we have seen violence reach its peak in Syria, and the brutality of the Syrian regime has now destroyed any hopes for reform. This resulted in a country like Saudi Arabia coming out to condemn what is happening in Syria, and call on the Syrian leadership to put an end to the violence, recalling its ambassador from Damascus.

Now we must accept the fact that the Syrian regime has thrown away all chances [to implement reform], and its fate is now unknown. The only thing that is left is for us to imagine how the Syrian uprising – the most important revolution in the Middle East – will end. The following are three possibilities regarding how the Syrian regime might be overthrown:

The first possibility: International interventions with Arab cover following a UN Security Council resolution. This scenario would see Turkey playing a primary role, providing troops to an international task-force that would march on Damascus.

The second possibility: In this scenario the international community would move away from direct military intervention, because of the Russian and Chinese veto, or the West’s reluctance of becoming embroiled in a war similar to Iraq or Afghanistan. In this case, peaceful demonstrations would transform into armed resistance that enjoys international support. The opposition would be able to topple the al-Assad regime, but only after a long and bloody campaign.

The third possibility: A change would emerge from within the al-Assad regime itself, with the current leadership being overthrown from within, which would help to provide an acceptable political solution to end the crisis.

Of course, it is not impossible for the regime to extricate itself from this situation by pursuing this policy of bloodshed, amidst an international inability to put an end to this thanks to Iran providing its Syrian ally with arms and financial aid. However more than likely, Iran will not be able to rescue its Syrian ally due to the al-Assad regime’s brutal suppression of the Syrian people. This regime has not refrained from killing women and children, and even targeting those who were attending funerals. Therefore the majority of the people of Syria are now committed to toppling the Syrian regime. The al-Assad regime’s strategy is one that relies upon intimidation and coercion; these are tactics that the al-Assad regime has utilized to remain in power for more than 40 years, and it is seeking to revive the Hama massacre, where 30,000 Syrian citizens were previously killed [in 1982] following which the regime was able to remain in power.

However the world today has changed, and the international landscape is no longer the same as it was during the first Hama massacre. Syria’s policy of killing and intimidation has only served to place the hangman’s noose around the al-Assad regime’s neck, as the regime’s closest allies have finally had enough and are today distancing themselves from the Syrian leadership. The killings that are being committed now will only serve to further incite public opinion, particularly Arab public opinion, which is committed to calling for international intervention in Syria.

The news from Syria is heart-breaking, with seven people recently being killed whilst attending a funeral, whilst dozens of corpses of Syrian citizens who were tortured to death have been surrendered to their families. The list of horrifying stories coming out of Syria is endless, and that is why the regime will fall!