Syria on the brink

As global and regional powers fight their own battles, will Syria's revolution succeed before the country falls apart?
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2012 07:53

A year ago, Syrians took to the streets in peaceful protest demanding democratic change. The regime crushed the uprising ruthlessly.
Villages, towns and cities have been targetted as hotbeds of opposition and thousands of civilians killed.
The regime says they are fighting terrorists but there is mounting evidence of a deliberate campaign to kill off the popular resistance.
Meanwhile, international and regional powers have been polarised as to the best way forward, with Russia and China vetoing any Western attempts to intervene at the UN.
To gain time and bypass the deadlock, world powers have agreed to back proposals by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, to stop the escalation of violence and reach a political settlement.
In reality, however, despite behind-the-scenes attempts to arm the Syrian opposition and the Bashar al-Assad regime's effort to break the opposition through excessive force when foreign powers are unwilling to get dragged into potential quagmire, Syria could still escalate into a country-wide asymmetrical war.
Will such escalation force the world powers to act? What could they do? And will the regime and its Alawite backers sacrifice al-Assad to save themselves and the country?


Click here for more Empire.


Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.
join our mailing list