Friends of Syria call for cease fire, but crackdown continues
More than 50 countries will gather in Tunisia to seek a resolution to the increasing violence in Syria. Reuters reported on February 23 that a draft declaration from the meeting will call on Syria to implement an immediate ceasefire and to allow the United Nations access to Homs.
Even as leaders prepared to meet, government forces did not relent in their assault on Homs. Western and Arab nations remained opposed to direct military intervention, but signaled that allowing arms to reach opposition forces was an option under consideration.
Meanwhile, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has been named a special envoy for the UN to Syria.
Hoover Institution senior fellow Fouad Ajami asserts that geographic challenges and the divisions in the opposition forces should not preclude intervention.
“It is an inescapable fate that the U.S. is the provider of order in that region. We can lend a hand to the embattled Syrians or risk turning Syria into a devil’s playground of religious extremism. Syria can become that self-fulfilling prophesy: a population abandoned by the powers but offered false solace and the promise of redemption by the forces of extremism and ruin,” writes Ajami in a Wall Street Journal column.