Syria's crisis enters 4th year with no drastic solution

Updated: 2014-03-16 14:31


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Military situation

The crisis drew radicals from about 80 countries, who have joined the rebels battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad's administration. The government has lost swathes of lands before it finally decided to launch its wide-scale offensives to drive rebels out of the captured lands and cut off their routes of weapon supply.

The radical groups have unveiled their intentions, mainly the establishment of a conservative Islamic regime that should apply strict Sharia law instead of a democratic one. Such a motive has turned other more moderate rebel groups against them.

The opposition's inter-fighting and extremist views have given the Syrian troops more energy to proceed with their battles.

The Syrian army recently scored some important victories against the rebels in the countryside of Damascus and in the central province of Homs.

The latest offensive is now taking place in the rebel-held town of Yabroud, north of Damascus. Syrian troops are storming the key town and stripping the rebels of their key existence between Damascus and Homs province, also cutting them off from their smuggling route to the nearby Lebanese town of Ersal.

The inter-fighting and division among the Syrian opposition parties, in addition to the rising popular resentment of the prolonged crisis and its devastating outcome, have buoyed the government's stand.

These indicators show that the Syrian government has made tangible progress on al-Qalamoun front, the last rebel stronghold near Damascus and their main route for weapons supply.

Political situation

Over the past few months, the international community has ostensibly supported the idea of finding a political solution to the long-standing conflict. Their efforts resulted in convening the so-called Geneva II conference.

However, the first two rounds of talks in Geneva made no tangible results, as the Syrian government wanted to prioritize countering terrorism, while the oppositional Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition umbrella in exile that negotiated on behalf of the opposition, said it wanted the establishment of a provisional government without a role of President Assad.

The Syrian government accused the coalition of working only to obtain authority without a real weight on ground, as other opposition groups and rebels as well said it does not represent them.

Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, held the coalition delegation responsible for the outcomes of the first two rounds of Geneva II talks. He said the opposition and the states standing behind it foiled the conference, because the coalition went to Geneva with only one aim -- to take over power.

"Syria has withstood (the crisis). Syria is working to defeat this conspiracy (anti-government rebellion). The sovereignty of Syrian people and the unity of Syria are the ideas that we are still working to consolidate," Mekdad said.

The Syrian government has recently inspired that the crisis is about to end and attention has been shifted to post-crisis reconstruction, after national reconciliation has succeeded in a number of Syrian areas.

"Obviously, many of those who have been politically misguided, are now returning under the state's umbrella. There are real achievements on ground by the Syrian army ... in addition to the national reconciliation instances across Syria," Mekdad said.

Still, the political solution for the three-year-old conflict has not been reached.

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