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What Lies Ahead For Syria After UNSC Veto Of Arab League Plan? – OpEd

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A political expert says foreign military intervention and seeking a security solution to the Syrian crisis will unleash Hell in the Middle East.

By Mohiyeddin Sajedi

After China and Russia vetoed the latest anti-Syrian plan at the UN Security Council (SC) which sought to expel Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, the question that remains to be answered is “what will happen now and in what direction will the Syrian crisis move?”

Director General of the Arab League (AL) Nabil al-Arabi says that AL will continue to urge the Syrian government and opposition to stop violence and murder and to find a political solution in order to implement reforms and avoid domestic and foreign intervention as a result of the situation in Syria.

The rejection of AL’s plan which called on Assad to step down, at the UN Security Council, means the case is back to the AL. The problem is that AL has already fired its last bullet and now, it cannot suffice to anything short of power transfer in Syria from president to the vice president, which will be the repetition of the Yemeni model. The enthusiasm shown by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to take the case to the Security Council has faced them with a deadlock with no political way out. Referring the Syrian case to the Security Council means internationalization of the Syrian crisis. Its return to the Arab League means that the case should be, once more, handled by Arabs. However, Arab states have left no option open to influence the Syrian crisis through a political initiative.

Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi has noted that foreign ministers of (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council’s [(P)GCC] member states will meet on Saturday, February 11, in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh to discuss consequences of vetoing AL’s plan at the Security Council and further measures.

At first, it seemed that the session would be attended by foreign ministers of the Arab League, not (P)GCC. In reality, however, the Council’s power has increased as a result of ongoing developments in the Arab world and the body is now a center of decision-making and policymaking for what goes on in Arab countries from Cairo to Damascus, Baghdad and Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Further measures to which Alawi has alluded, will be first discussed by (P)GCC and then forwarded to AL to be processed into an Arab initiative.

Neither (P)GCC, nor the Arab League has a correct understanding of global balance of power. Member states of both bodies trusted the US and the West for the success of their plan at the Security Council, ignoring emerging powers of the BRICS group (consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Half the world’s population lives in China and India. China is the world’s second largest economic power and Brazil ranks sixth. China has overtaken Japan in economic progress and Brazil fares better than Britain in this regard. Russia is by no means willing to lose its last base in the Middle East, after the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

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There is the view that the plan for a power transition in Syria is effectively a US scenario inspired by the relatively successful example of Yemen and that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are tasked with its Arabization. Whether the plan is Arab or American, the UN Security Council negotiations and the subsequent vetoing of the resolution made clear that the US can no longer pull whatever it wishes out of the Security Council. It also demonstrated that the emerging economicopolitical powers in the world are no longer prepared to show self-restraint over US demands. It’s not clear with what logic the US adopts a policy that places it face to face with China and Russia in the Security Council and forces Beijing to use its veto prerogative twice in five months. Russia’s veto would have been enough. China’s accompaniment is aimed to intensify opposition to the US plans not only in the Middle East but also in the other world hotspots.
Imaginable scenarios for the future of Syria are either a political negotiation between the regime and the opposition or the crisis becoming more security oriented. There are many divisions to the Bashar al-Assad opposition. Those who are robustly backed by the West, Turkey and a number of Arab states are against any dialogue and negotiations with Damascus. Russia and China will probably increase their pressure on Bashar al-Assad for the expedition of reforms, changing the Constitution, and removal of the Baath party from power.

The more likely scenario is the Syrian crisis becoming more security-prone. The recent raids by the Syrian Army on the regions which it sees as the concentration points of its armed opposition is because Damascus, using the Security Council condition and the Arab observers’ report, is trying to militarize the situation outright. France has, in turn, announced that the West will form new pressure groups in the world for solidarity with the Syrian people. Undoubtedly, this group is not only tasked with imposing economic sanctions on Syria, a move which has thus far proved fruitless.

Some sources say there is the possibility that foreign parachute forces might land in the Idlib region, where the Syrian Army has all but no rule over. The main target is to create a secure region to establish bases for toppling the central government. Some even interpret the visit by the Russian foreign minister and foreign intelligence service chief to Damascus as aiming to counter a military coup and cut down on the defections in the Syrian Army.

Foreign military intervention in Syria will result in a civil war. Presently, most of the Syrian people are worried about their future in case the armed opposition wins this war. The grievous developments in Iraq and then Libya are right there before their eyes.

If the mistake by the Syrian security apparatuses 11 months ago in their confrontation with a number of students in the city of Daraa triggered a crisis that has pushed the entire region to the edge of a precipice, a foreign military intervention and relying on a security solution will increase the likelihood of opening the doors of hell on the Middle East.

Press TV

Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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