What will 2013 bring for Syria?

What will 2013 bring for Syria?

Damascus : Syria | Dec 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM PST
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A Syrian boy holds the gun of a  rebel fighter during a protest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad

If the stubbornness of President Bashar al-Assad continues, there could be more massacre and bloodshed in the days to come. The despot has not agreed to resign from the presidency despite pressures by world powers, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom. Russia, one of the staunchest supporters of the Syrian regime, has also recently expressed its disappointment with the escalating violence in the violence-wracked country, but at the same time stopped short of a clear-cut demand from Assad to step down. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Assad is not willing to leave the power come what may.

What is new in it? The dictator has glued to the presidency and intends to quell the 21-month-old uprising against his rule through violence and oppression. Fortunately, he has not succeeded in his designs so far and won’t be in the days ahead as well. Kudos to brave and courageous the Syrian people, who have refused to bow down before the dictator. Against all odds, the pro-democracy people are still trying to oust the dictator. In the prolonged conflict, nearly 50,000 people have been killed so far. However, it appears now as if days of the dictator in power are numbered, as rebel fighters are making significant progress against government security forces.

If we look back, one thing stands out to be very clear and that is failure of the world powers to handle the crisis. The UN-Arab League peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, has rightly pointed out that if the world powers had taken an interest in resolving the issue, it could have been settled just weeks after it sprang up in February 2011. At the same time, the peace envoy also warned that if the crisis is not handled now, it may result into loss of more than 100,000 lives in 2013. Intensity of the assaults on civilians is increasing with each passing day and definitely it is not easy for the rebel fighters to deal with the government security forces. The rebel fighters don’t have anti-aircraft guns, while gunship helicopters keep pounding their hideouts on daily basis.

Should we stay optimistic about the future of the volatile country? Of course, there is still enough to do to protect the pro-democracy people from the wrath of the dictator and resolve the crisis. Yes, foreign intervention will further deteriorate the crisis, as it will provide the dictator with a justification to intensify the campaign against the rebel fighters and civilians. Dialogue is the only way forward. But one may ask that with whom one can initiate dialogue when the dictator is not ready for the option? The best way is to lure associates of President al-Assad to defect the regime and isolate the dictator. Surely, the 2013 will bring independence, democracy and rule of law for Syrians, provided they stay steadfast and committed.

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Rebel fighters in the country's north
Rebel fighters in the country's north
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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