Despite Predictions Of His Demise, Syria’s Assad Remains In Control And Confident
A year ago claims of victory may have appeared to be nothing more than bluster from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Yet, a year later al-Assad remains in control of his nation and the international community is no closer to reaching a consensus on how to end the two-year war.
In an interview with the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir Assad reiterated his contention that his forces would emerge as victors in the ongoing civil war, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.
Each day without action to stem the violence, however, increases the real cost of Assad’s resilience and the international community’s reticence.
The United Nations estimates that 70,000 people have been killed in two years with at least 10,000 killed since the beginning of 2013. On Monday, at least 20 people were killed in an attack on the town of Aleppo, according to activists.
Situation Is Deteriorating
On Monday, the UN Human Rights Council commission investigating Syria said that violence in Syria was worsening, “aggravated by increasing sectarianism” and the increasing presence of foreign fighters, reports the New York Times.
The UN Human Rights Council has called for urgent action to ensure justice for the human rights crimes committed during the two-year Syrian conflict. The UN plans to submit a list of names next month of those believed to be most responsible for the atrocities.
“The situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic has continued to deteriorate,” the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria stated in its latest report, which was released February 18 in Geneva.
“Since 15 July 2012, there has been an escalation in the armed conflict between Government forces and anti-Government armed groups. The conflict has become increasingly sectarian, with the conduct of the parties becoming significantly more radicalized and militarized,” says the report.
Continuing Opposition To Arming Syrian Rebels
Despite Assad’s ongoing assaults on rebels and his rejection of any attempts to progress forward on forming a transitional government, the international community remains opposed to arming rebel forces.
The Obama administration, which has opposed arming the opposition in Syria, now contends the debate is not a “closed question.” The administration, however, has not provided any further clarity on its stance on providing arms or its long-term strategy for Syria.
The European Union offered more clarity openly declaring its continued opposition to arming rebels following a meeting of regional foreign ministers.