By Konstantin Garibov
Moscow is continuing to insist that the conflict in Syria must be solved by peaceful and lawful means – that is, through a dialogue between the two conflicting sides and without interference of any forces from abroad.
At the recent Russian-US consultations on Syria in Moscow, the Russian side confirmed this position again.
Moreover, Russia intends to do whatever it takes for the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria to be based on a similar position.
At present, a draft of such a resolution is being discussed in the UN.
At the same time, Russia believes that it is the UN Security Council that should play the main role in initiating peace talks not only in Syria but also in other Arab countries which are currently gripped by revolts.
However, during these consultations in Moscow, Russia and the US failed to overcome their disagreements about what should be done with Syria.
Meanwhile, the situation in Syria is becoming more and more acute. Fighting between the government forces and armed opposition groups is continuing, especially in the city of Homs, the opposition’s main stronghold. According to the data which has been published in “The Guardian”, at least 7 thousand people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, when the unrest began.
Many people are fleeing cities and towns where fighting is most severe, or the whole country, with their families.
Russian expert in Eastern affairs Sergey Demidenko says:
“Most likely, the situation in Syria would become more and more chaotic. I believe, President Bashar al-Assad will try to remain in power as long as he can, but his regime will fall in the end. The economic situation in Syria is now very unstable, the living standards are very low, and this has begun to irritate Syrians more and more. Besides, there is a strong pressure on al-Assad’s regime from abroad. But the real chaos will start when his regime falls.”
Another analyst, Azhar Kurtov, shares the same opinion:
“Clashes between President Assad’s supporters and opponents are becoming more and more frequent and severe. Sometimes, clashes even take place in suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus. Moreover, it looks like now, Syrian oppositionists do not agree to limit themselves to Syria anymore. Armed groups of them have started to penetrate to Turkey or to Jordan, for certain forces in these countries obviously support them.”
“At present, al-Assad’s regime is still strong enough to resist the opposition for some time,” Mr. Kurtov continues. “A number of Arab countries are supporting the Assad regime, not the Syrian opposition. Besides, the position which, say, Russia or China occupy cannot also be called too openly anti-Assad. But I cannot predict – and, I think, no one can – how long the Assad regime will remain strong enough to resist the opposition. I believe, the best thing for Mr. Assad now would be to stop suppressing his opponents with force and to start talks with them.”