Two years since the revolution began, the war is still raging in Syria. On February 12, though, a breakthrough came about when an airfield near Aleppo was captured by a rebel group. For the first time, rebels were able to seize usable warplanes. This not only signifies a triumph on their part, but also marks a change in their approach – as battles in cities have now shifted to attacks on military bases.

About a month ago, rebels in Syria had captured the Taftanaz airfield in northern Syria. In retaliation, the government forces launched air-attacks on al-Jarrah, in a fashion similar to their actions in response to past instances of rebel capture of airfields. The capture of war planes is a shot in the arm for the Syrian National Council. Thus far, governmental troops have been able to attack ground-based rebel attacks through their use of air-power, but it remains to be seen how these aircrafts will be flown – by the defected pilots or otherwise.

The civil war seems unrelenting, as the death toll is on a steady rise since March 2011. Political efforts are also slowly continuing on the side. Recently, UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s deputy, Mokhtar Lamani met the rebel Revolutionary Military Council near Damascus, talking with civilian leaders. The SNC’s leader has offered to meet government officials if the regime agrees to releasing 16,000 political prisoners, and renews passports held by Syrians outside the country.

However, the odds against a settlement are slowly lengthening on both sides. There are continued divisions within the coalition, and arming the rebel forces internationally is now a vetoed option. The continued protraction of force and the pursuit of military means by the Syrian government and its opponents is in no one’s interest. Kofi Annan’s original plans as augmented by the Geneva Plan should take root – not only because it is in Syria’s interests internally, but externally as well, seeing as how Russia and the US are in agreement over it.

Only Syria needs to agree to it and accept it.

 

Views: 80

Tags: Arab, Assad, Change, Democracy, Regime, Spring, Syria

Comment

You need to be a member of Global Ethics Network to add comments!

Join Global Ethics Network

Carnegie Council

The Ethics of the "Doorstep"

The "doorstep test" requires policymakers to be able to articulate how, and to what degree, something happening in the world connects to the day-to-day experience, needs, and interests of the citizenry. This construct requires honesty and reminds us that domestic policy and foreign policy ought to be linked.

Malaysian & Indonesian Elections, with Meredith Weiss & Jeremy Menchik

This fascinating conversation begins with a discussion of the critical importance of Southeast Asia, including the rise of China and its ambitions in the region. Then Professor Weiss focuses on Malaysia and the return of the formidable 93-year old Mahathir as prime minister. Next, Professor Menchik discusses the complex situation in Indonesia--a country with 17,000 islands and 300-plus ethnic groups--and the upcoming elections there.

Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, with Francis Fukuyama

The rise of global populism is the greatest threat to global democracy, and it's mainly driven not by economics, but by people's demand for public recognition of their identities, says political scientist Francis Fukuyama. "We want other people to affirm our worth, and that has to be a political act." How is this playing out in the U.S., Europe, and Asia? What practical steps can we take to counteract it?

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

E&IA Journal

GEO-GOVERNANCE MATTERS

© 2018   Created by Carnegie Council.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service