It seems that the gambit run by Russia and the U.S. calls for beating down both sides of the ongoing conflict into accepting an arrangement that neither of them can honor. Assad’s Camp cannot stop its crackdown, as this will allow for a return of the nonviolent protest movement, a move that will further delegitimize Assad while energizing the opposition and allowing for the moderates to make a comeback. This is much more suicidal to the Assad Camp than the crackdown which, due to its violent character, solicits radicalization and extremism from the other side, thus creating the necessary conditions that can facilitate the establishment of an Alawite enclave down the road. There is an innate assumption that goes to the heart of the Geneva Accord that Al-Ibrahimi and the Russians are pushing that is blatantly wrong, and assumes the kind of rational thinking on part of Assad and his supporters that has always been missing. They seem to think that the violence of the last two years has made Assad and his supporters more open somehow to accepting a compromise solution. In truth, with so much blood on their hands, the Assadists could not be any more radical and unwilling to compromise than they are at the moment. As for rebels and opposition politicians, and though, the Accord does in theory play in their favor as it will most assuredly pave the way for Assad’s departure, none of them has the moral gravitas and authority, not to mention, the necessary political skills, to make that argument and bring the others on board. Also, opposition members realize that without serious international support, their efforts to restructure the army and security apparatuses as part of unity government will go nowhere. But how can the opposition trust that the international community will come through for them, when it has proven to be such a fickle ally for the last 21 months? As such, the stalemate in Syria will continue, and while our fate may not have been completely sealed, it continues to be stalled and staled.
Note: an expert who reviewed the videos from yesterday concluded that the bombs used were incendiary cluster bombs not white phosphorous bombs. Assad might be saving his white phosphorous for a more rainy day.
The town of Mourek in Hama comes under shelling by cluster bombs http://youtu.be/VHoIK8F8N4k , http://youtu.be/P35KB8xwlHc
The pounding of historic town of Crack de Chevaliers continues http://youtu.be/kMf3DAv6-GU As rebels and loyalists clash around the city http://youtu.be/lj6NhSiVqXk
The pounding of Deir Baalbah Suburb intensifies as loyalist forces have reportedly creep in http://youtu.be/9Gf_-8iNVJw , http://youtu.be/SZCviTRLRJY and residents sneak out http://youtu.be/ECFghwKb2Mg
The pounding of the rebel-held town of Salma in northern Latakia by explosive barrels dropped from helicopter gunships intensifies http://youtu.be/Z6IZEUknKz0 , http://youtu.be/PjmS8vI0Qk4 Nearby Jabal Al-Akrad was also targeted http://youtu.be/hRgVfg7omwk
In Aleppo, local rebels use confiscated cannons to pound the headquarters of a loyalist police academy http://youtu.be/f70qfzlN1BU , http://youtu.be/9gjAUEhMRZ0 , http://youtu.be/qe9mPINl4r0 Rebels then move in to take control of the academy http://youtu.be/KI3Ge0inTvk , http://youtu.be/xsnD849WOEk
Many children were wounded during the bombing of the town of Masraba in Damascus http://youtu.be/3ZBmGAdbMwo The nearby towns of Eastern Ghoutah were targeted as well: Saqba http://youtu.be/zRBfeV3VGmo Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/x7U9zTpDkcQ