Annan peace plan for Syria needs Security Council action
Damascus (AsiaNews) - The massacres in Houla and al-Qubair are evidence that the UN-Arab League peace plan is failing. They show that the Syrian government has done very little to stop the violence. At the Security Council, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan urged the 15 members to put pressure on the Syrian government. Only when the regime of Bashar al-Assad assumes responsibility for what is happening will the fighting end. However, Syrian authorities appear unwilling to lay stop the violent actions of its armed forces and paramilitary militias in rebel-held areas.
"The international community has united, but it now must take that that unity to a new level," Annan said. The plan is not dead, as some have recently announced, it has not been implemented. So long as fighting continues, a civil war cannot be averted.
Mr Annan is now pushing for the establishment of contact group, including the big powers (S, France, UK, Russia and China) and the main regional players with influence with Damascus and the opposition (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran).
The goal is to break the deadlock in the Security Council, getting Russia and China to accept a political transition that would see Assad step aside.
Today, although condemning the massacres in Houla and al-Qubair, Moscow and Beijing reiterated their opposition to a sweeping de-legitimisation of the Assad regime.
Sources in Syria, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that the United Nations is hard pressed to find a solution. The fact is no one knows what is actually going on.
Non-Muslim foreigners, diplomats, officials and journalists that are coming to the country are at the mercy of the factional fighting.
UN observers are facing huge obstacles in their mission as well. This is making it harder to see the broader picture and future strategies to settle the conflict rapidly.
Unknown gunmen, apparently from both sides, fired against the UN team on its way to al-Qubair where 78 people were killed.
"The battle for democracy that began in 2011 is in reality a factional fight," sources said. "This is typical of the Muslim world where freedom is confused with anarchy and parliamentary politics with might is right. The factions will fight until one of them wins."
"The cycle of violence will continue with or without Assad. All Syrians will pay a price. They have already been paying in terms of sanctions, abductions, murders, and foreign Muslim militias that are spreading to areas hitherto spared like Alep."
The only alternative to total war is diplomacy through talks, even harsh, with the regime, which despite its violence is the only one capable of controlling its forces.
By contrast, the Syrian National Council appears a motley crew of factions without any influence on Muslim extremists who will fight against Assad and the Alawis first, and then all the other minorities in Syria, especially Christians, thanks to the weapons provided by Arab countries. (S.C.)