Syria’s opposition forces to mark one-year anniversary
One day before the one-year anniversary of the opposition to the oppressive regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, 27 people were killedin a series of suicide attacks. Syria has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the attacks in an effort to derail the “peace talks.”
According to the United Nations, more than 8,000 people have died in fighting to date.
Syria, however, has done its share to derail the peace talks by telling UN envoy Kofi Annan that the opposition must give up its weapons before any progress can be made to end the violence.
A year later, the consensus of the international community is that arming the Syrian opposition would imperil the Middle East by sending the nation into civil war. However, as Max Boot notes in the Washington Post, Syria already is in a state of war.
“Aiding the rebels would hardly risk plunging Syria into civil war. Syria is already in a civil war, and it is getting worse. The more pressure we bring to topple Assad, the faster we can end that war and the more influence we can exert with a successor regime.
“By contrast, if we stand on the sidelines, worst-case scenarios — such as Syrian chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands or groups such as al-Qaeda developing havens — are more likely to result because of the Assad regime’s inability to control its own territory,” Boot writes.
The Institute for the Study of War has an informative paper on who comprises the Syrian opposition forces.