The Syrian ambassadors’ expulsion
30 May 2012
Most major European capitals have expelled their Syrian ambassadors in protest against the massacre that took place in the central city of Houla near Homs, which led to the deaths of more than a hundred people including 34 children under the age of 10.
European governments took this step after considerable debate, which implies that it may be a preliminary step to military intervention at a later date. This has been confirmed through France’s new president, Francois Hollande, when he said Tuesday that he won’t exclude military intervention if passed by the UN Security Council.
The UN Security Council will not give this green light to military intervention, unless Russia and China change their positions and there is no indication of that at the moment.
It is true that Russia has slightly softened its stance and condemned the Houla massacre, holding both the Syrian government and opposition responsible. However, Russia did not hesitate in reiterating its view of preventing any international resolution allowing an international military intervention in Syria.
The United States of America is fully aware of the Russian position and Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson, revealed yesterday that he doesn’t believe military intervention is right at the moment, because it may lead to further chaos and violence.
Western pressure has been intensified on two fronts: the first is on the Syrian government, which seems even more isolated due to the expulsion of its ambassadors; and the second is on the Russian authorities in order to reduce its support for the Syrian regime and accept a Yemen-style political settlement, i.e. removing the head of the government, while letting the regime itself stay in power.
The joint UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan visited the Syrian capital yesterday and called on Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad to take immediate action and “bold steps” to stop the violence in his country, so he can implement his plan for solving the Syrian crisis.
Annan’s demands are not new; hence the chances of him getting a satisfactory response are slim. The situation is deteriorating in Syria and the violence has not stopped, but on the contrary they have escalated along with the presence of Annan’s plan and international observers.
The Syrian regime no longer has control over the entire country, security is steadily declining and there are armed groups who are out of control.
The chances of success for Annan’s plan are extremely weak and Syria is rapidly moving towards a civil war which is now taking place in sectarian areas, such as Homs and its neighbourhoods. Massacres and ethnic cleansing are going to take place in more than one area in the coming weeks or months.