Does the Annan plan hold more hope than a month ago? Maybe.
The peace plan promoted by UN special envoy Kofi Annan has failed to bring any resolution to the crisis in Syria, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not only continued to attack his opponents, he has increased the level of violence.
However, Aram Nerguizian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argues all options, including arming Syrian opposition forces and demanding Assad relinquish power, are doomed to fail. Instead, he suggests, maintaining focus on the Annan peace plan.
“Unlike past Arab League–sponsored efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis, Annan’s joint UN and Arab League initiative enjoys the support of the entire Security Council—including Russia and China, who remain deeply averse to intervention in Syria,” he writes in a June paper.
What may work in favor of this approach are reports that members of Assad’s inner circle are beginning to defect on the heels of a Syrian fighter pilot receiving asylum in Jordan. Many may also fear the ramifications of Syria’s decision to shoot down a Turkish fighter, as few supporters of Assad relish the idea of a broader war with its Arab neighbors.