Assad agrees to UN proposal, but war far from over

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to begin a partial withdrawal of troops on April 10, but his words hardly signal an end to the fighting which has continued for more than a year. And while Syria has already started to withdraw troops, concerns remain about what the future holds.

In fact, says Time magazine columnist Tony Karon, Assad is sitting pretty because Syria’s “foreign adversaries were unable to prevent its brutal pummeling of cities” and “forced the rebels to abandon an  insurrectionist strategy of seizing control of whole towns in the hope of  prompting mass defections that would bring down the regime.”

The Friends of Syria have put forward a communique demanding a timeline for Syria’s compliance with the withdrawal plans, but its success will be dependent upon unity among members of the international community.

And many are skeptical of Assad’s willingness to abide by the agreement, including Turkey, which is drawing up plans to cope with an increasingly troublesome refugee crisis.

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