As the violence escalates in Syria, the United Nations peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has reached Damascus where he is all set to call on President Bashar al-Assad. He is on his third trip to Damascus since he was appointed as the peace envoy in August following resignation of peace envoy. In his resignation, Kofi Annan admitted that he failed to broker a peace deal between Syrian government and the opposition to restore normalcy in the violence-wracked country. However, Lakhdar Brahimi is hopeful to achieve a breakthrough during his recent visit to Damascus and would be able to get consent of the dictator for establishment of transition government.
The peace envoy landed in Beirut and travelled to Syrian capital by land because of fierce fighting near the Damascus airport. The rebel fighters have been battling with the government security forces for the last couple of days near the federal capital. The rebels are aiming their eyes at the seizure of the airport. However, it is not easy for the rebels to capture the airport as they are not equipped with sophisticated weapons as compared to the security forces loyal to the regime. Despite all the odds, the rebels’ morale is high and in the last few weeks they have captured a number of military installations across the country.
A couple of discerning observers based here at the New York City opine that the international community has succeeded in coaxing help of Russia and China to oust the dictator. In the wake of recent developments in Syria, Russia prepares to accept the fact that Assad is close to lose the civil war that has dragged on for nearly two years. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has admitted that Syrian opposition coalition is getting military and diplomatic gains against the dictator at a fast pace that may result in ouster of the president. However, he did not give any indication that Russia was going to rescind support for Assad and joining foreign nations to pressure the dictator for resignation. In the face of ever changing situation, Russia can be agreed for announcing the transition government.
In this backdrop, visit of the peace envoy is of extreme importance and the world powers including the United States, France and Britain are eying on success of Lakhdar Brahimi trip to Syria. So, the next couple of weeks are important for the 21-month-old uprising in the violence-wracked country. At a time when Russia itself is accepting fragility of the Syrian regime, the United States and its allies should coax the Russian government for help ease out the dictator. It is also in better interest of Russia as the country may develop good relations with whoever succeeds Assad. It is also test of the peace envoy’s diplomatic skills that how he translates the recent successes of the rebel fighters into success.