Endgame in Damascus

Posted in | 29-08-2012 | 7541 viewed | Category: (Syria  ) | comments:(151 )

 When Damascus accepted Kofi Annan’s mission to Syria, it was on the basis of assurances from the UN special

envoy that he would help end violence from allsides. The international community stood behind Annan’s mission,
supporting his efforts so that the political process for reconciliation and implementation of economic and political
reforms could start. Annan is yet to complete identifying the armed groups fighting the Syrian army and the
countries supporting them. So far he has been able to identify Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have openly
called for arming the rebels by recruiting Arab mujahideens. Ankara has already hosted a ‘Friends of Syria’
summit where it made its intention clear to topple the Syrian regime. In the summit, the Gulf Cooperation Council
countries decided to grant $100 million to fund the Syrian NationalCouncil(SNC) to buy arms for the insurgents
and mercenaries.
The US has admitted that the bombing of Aleppo and Damascus bear the hand of al-Qaeda-like terrorist
organisations. Of its many tasks, flushing out the terrorists from their hideouts in Syria is one more the Syrian
government will have to undertake.
The question naturally arises as to why the Syrian government did not go public with the 19 French soldiers it
reportedly captured during a flush-out at Bab Amr (Homs) on February 13. Apparently, Paris had resorted to
back-door diplomacy to ensure the release of those soldiers along with French journalists embedded with the
insurgents. The hurriedly arranged Annan mission bought the time necessary to conclude these negotiations.
Media reports also suggested that Ankara had tried hard to release 49 Turkish soldiers captured by the Syrian
army inside Syria but failed to do so.
The reason why certain countries are arming Syrian insurgents is to ensure that a 1970s Lebanon-like situation
erupts, where the country is beset by a civil war. That is the reason there is no post-Assad roadmap, as the aim
is to ensure that Syria descends into anarchy and sectarian violence. Already, the process of isolation and delegitimisation has been put in place through the imposition ofsanctions. It needs time and determination for any
political process to succeed in Syria. However, any delay will help the opposition and externalforces to accuse
the regime of non-compliance and find excuses to topple it. President Bashar al-Assad must be allowed to
implement the economic and politicalreforms that can save Syria and the Syrians from disaster. The success of
the Annan mission will depend on the adherence to ceasefire by all parties and the commitment of the big players
to a peacefulsolution to the crisis.
Waiel Awwad is a South Asia-based Arab journalist

Added By : Dr. Waiel Awwad

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