Countries Begin to Take Individual Action in Syria

With continued lack of consensus on a solution for Syria, individual countries have begun to take action on their own. Turkey urged its citizens in Syria to return home as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the development of a safe zone along the border. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said hat Baghdad had informed Iran that it would not permit the use of its air space or territory for the transit of any arms cargo to Syria. Additionally, a top Arab diplomat (who wished to remain anonymous) said, “Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army. This is a Saudi initiative to stop the massacres in Syria.”

Meanwhile, five opposition groups have announced the formation of a coalition group that they say will outlast the Syrian National Council (SNC). One of the leaders within the opposition groups, Ammar al-Qurabi said, “[the] coalition was not set up in opposition to anyone, other than Assad’s regime, but rather to unite the opposition outside the SNC.”

On the U.S. side, the GOP has distanced itself from Sen. John McCain‘s (R-AZ) push for military action in Syria. “We should be extremely skeptical about actions that could commit the U.S. to a military intervention,” said Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Raghida Dergham, senior diplomatic correspondent for Al Hayat, says Kofi Annan is Bashar Al Assad‘s “final life preserver,” and argues that, “the key to change in Damascus is not just for the regime to leave. It also lies in reaching an agreement in advance, at the Syrian, regional and international levels, on the fact that the alternative will not be an Islamist one.”