Pressuring Damascus

Syria is facing greater regional pressure as the death toll mounts. Neighbouring Turkey has once again strongly condemned the ongoing violence that threatens regional security, a rejoinder made on an ominous note.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s statement that his country could not afford the luxury of just standing by in the current circumstances is significant. Without laying down specifics on what actions Ankara might take against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, Davutoglu has clearly said that non-action is not a possibility in the case of the Syrian situation threatening Turkey’s security. The crackdown on civilians and the influx of refugees in Turkey do pose a major security challenge. A large number of Syrian refugees have already been forced to flee to Turkey in order to avoid the regime’s brutal operations. Turkey’s warning is likely to come across as the beating of war drums for Damascus. In addition, former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki Al Faisal’s recent airing of his opinion on the unlikelihood of the Arab League not doing anything more and allowing this massacre to continue spells further trouble for Assad. The Arab League has tried their best to get the Syrian president to halt force and engage in dialogue with the opposition but to no avail. Despite suspension from the League and financial sanctions, Assad has not shown any restraint.

The question is what further measures the Arab League and Turkey would take? Short of military intervention, there is not much that can be done. If that plan is deemed the most feasible way of deterring Assad and more significantly to prevent a regional conflagration, would it secure greater international support?

The EU states have already been demanding the Security Council to take necessary steps to deter Syria. With the exception of Russia and China, all other Security Council members are likely to support counter measures against Assad. How this translates in the coming weeks remains to be seen. For now Syria’s troubles continue to pile up.

Source: Khaleej Times

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