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: 68

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

Slowing the Proliferation of Major Conventional Weapons with Jonathan D. Caverley

The news is full of discussions on how to prevent further nuclear proliferation. But you can't understand a conflict like Syria without talking about major conventional weapons, such as artillery, missile defense, and aircraft, says military strategist Jonathan Caverley. Since the U.S. is by far the world's largest producer of such weapons, Caverley proposes that it creates a cartel, similar to OPEC, to slow down sales.

Global Ethics Forum Preview: Russian Media from Soviet Times to Putin, with Jonathan Sanders

Next time on Global Ethics Forum, Stony Brook professor Jonathan Sanders discusses the media and propaganda in Russia, from Soviet times to Putin. In this excerpt, Sanders, former CBS News Moscow correspondent, describes to journalist Randall Pinkston the surprising state of Russian media in 2017.

Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West, with William Drozdiak

In some ways Europe is more fragmented than at any time in the last three decades, says Drozdiak. There's a north/south split between wealthy creditor nations and deeply indebted ones; an east/west divide, as Poland and Hungary revert to nationalism; pressures of regional separatism; Brexit; and the migrant crisis. Then there's Trump, who sees Europe as a burden and economic rival. 2018 could be a pivotal year. What will happen?

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

GEO-GOVERNANCE MATTERS

© 2017   Created by Carnegie Council.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service