Syria moves toward civil war as international community searches for a response

As the death toll in Syria continues to rise, the international community is at odds over how to respond to a situation that appears to be devolving into civil war. On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross began efforts to negotiate a cease fire, but the assault by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad went on unabated in and around the town of Homs.

“I’m worried that Syria is going to slide into a civil war,” U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC on Sunday.

Not so ironically, on the same day that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began a two-day visit of nuclear sites in Iran, the New York Times reported that “two Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port on Monday as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced American calls for arming the Syrian opposition.”

With the United Nations seemingly unable to muster any response beyond nonbinding resolutions and the Arab League struggling with internal divisions and disagreements few options for resolving the crisis appear viable.

In Foreign Policy, Robert Haddick examines one available option, which is the use of unconventional warfare in overthrowing dictators. Haddick looks at whether special forces will be charged with another mission – in this case to oust Assad.

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