Two Dissidents Left ‘Autocratic’ Syrian Opposition
Two dissidents have quit the opposition group Syrian National Council (SNC), that was founded shortly after the beginning of the uprising in Syria a year ago. One of the dissidents, Kamal al-Labwani, described the SNC as “autocratic.” He accused Council Chief Burhan Ghalioun and closed members of the organization “[of building] an autocratic rule inside the council.” However, on the ground, it is reported that local opponent leader helped “to keep control and contain the level of internecine violence.” According to the Economist, these local leaders “cannot prevent Mr. Assad from having the upper hand militarily, but they are further eroding his shrinking political authority.”
The Joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy (JSE) to Syria, Kofi Annan, received responses from the Syria regime on his proposals for seeking a peace resolution that he recommended to Syrian leader Bahsar al Assad. However, Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said from Geneva that “the JSE has questions and is seeking answers,” about Syrian responses. Syrian spokesman’s Foreign Ministry, Jihad Makdesi, stated ”the tone of our reply was positive,” adding that Syria had offered “clarifications” on implementing some of the proposals.
Meanwhile, violence goes on in the country. Syrian officials accused “armed terrorists” of massacring 15 civilians in Homs. Moreover, Syrian forces have reported that they have taken control over the northern city of Idlib, with a population of about 150,000, forcing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to withdraw.
French President Nicoals Sarkozy, called Syrian leader a “murderer’ and pledged “we must obtain humanitarian corridors, and for that we must unblock the Russian veto and Chinese veto” at the U.N. Security Council. Meanwhile Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday that Beijing was taking no sides in the crisis, and that he was “deeply pained” by the suffering of the Syrian people. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said “we are selling weapons to Syria for its national defense, national security,’ and added “we aren’t standing up for the regime or specific personalities.” The Italian government announced that it has closed its Embassy in Damascus.
In a piece published in Foreign Policy, Aaron David Miller, Middle East analyst, highlighted the “weaknesses of the U.S. and the international community”" in resolving Syrian conflict. He reckoned that President Obama’s administration has “no will or stomach to deal with the risks and consequences of a sustained intervention.” The analyst does not believe in the setting of a “safe havens” and concludes “intervening militarily now isn’t about left or right, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, or even about right or wrong — it’s really about choosing between being dumb or smart.”