Since the beginning of the UN envoy's initiative two massacres had happened in Syria (al-Hola and al-Gobair,) where over two thousand people had been killed. A Lebanese pilgrim's delegation had been exposed to kidnapping while passing the Syrian territories, and a small sectarian civil war broke out in northern Lebanon between the Sunnis and the Alawites, followed by alternate kidnappings. The National Syrian Council the prominent opposition party had chosen a new head in place Dr. Borhan Ghalion.
The continuation of the Syrian crisis for more than 15 months now has disappointed many, because the Syrian regime expected to end the popular uprising demanding the overthrow of the regime and a democratic change, within days, or weeks at the utmost. The opposition planned and asked for military intervention, expecting that the NATO will be at their disposal, like what happened in Libya, and they started to distribute positions and fight over the ruling seats. Some Gulf countries showed regret for being involved in a conflict that began turning into a sectarian civil war, which may burn the edges of their cloths, in addition to a cold war of major powers for the division of the wealth and areas of influence in an area which contains two third of the world' s oil reserves.
Syria is undergoing a sectarian attrition war that is likely to be prolonged. The extremist Islamic groups are fighting on the side of the Syrian free army, for overthrowing the regime which they consider to be sectarian and imperfectly Islamic.
A Kuwaiti newspaper spoke of the influx of dozens of Kuwaiti Sunni fighters into Syria via Turkey, like others from north west African countries especially from Libya as well as Pakistan.
Those fighters bring with them money and modern weapons, making this army to achieve great achievements on the ground and move the confrontations into the center of the capital Damascus.
The regular Syrian army is fighting in more than a front, and didn't succeed, despite its fierce attacks in controlling Homs or the other pockets in Adlib, Hamah or the capital's suburbs.
The gulf media is playing a major role in this crisis, and don't hide their support to the opposition army. They hope for the rapid fall of the regime for fear of its taking retaliatory steps, as it belongs to the alliance that contains Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia. They are the countries which are adept in actions of explosions, murder and assassinations under different names.
It is clear that the Syrian crisis cannot be resolved through the military option. The security solutions that are implemented by the regime during the past months, failed in ending the uprising. The foreign military intervention which the opposition factions demanded and that is hoped by the Arab League is no longer put forth. The arming of the Syrian free army may exhaust the regime, but because of the difference in power it cannot overthrow the regime in the near future.
We are before a situation similar to the one which existed in Afghanistan during the last days of the Marxist rule, with the distinctive difference of the absence of regular foreign military forces on the Syrian territories. Turkey is playing the role of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia is providing money and military support, as well as the support of USA and its western allies.
The Afghan war continued for eight years, and ended with the collapse of the regime, followed by a bloody civil war, which led to the arrival of Taliban to power. The American occupation then came under the pretext of war against terror, leading to the eradication of al-Qaeda and its protector Taliban.
In light of the American retreat from the option of military intervention, even if temporarily, because of the backing of Russia, China and Iran to Syria. There is fear of huge financial and human losses, the arrival of extremist Islamists to power and the change of the country into a failing state at the boarders of Israel, which opens the door for Arabic Sunni resistance. All these possibilities made the political solution to be the better and least expensive option.
There is a semi consensus that Anan's initiative is dying at the intensive care unit, and the USA is looking for an alternative, believing that the Yemeni solution to be preferable. That is why it is practicing intensive pressure on Moscow in the hope of involving it in the solution, and to sign a strategic deal as an attractive return, whether in Georgia or by providing guarantees for keeping its interests in Syria in the post Assad period.
Surgery Lavarove head of the Russian diplomacy had given indications, hinting at responding to the American flirting, when he said that his country supports the step down of President Assad, "if " he agrees or if the Syrians agree, however, he emphasized that his country opposes a foreign military intervention and the changing the regime by force.
The prospects of the solution after the Yemeni way in Syria seem attractive from a theoretical perspective, and difficult from the practical way for several reasons.
First the GCC initiative in Yemen succeeded because the Yemeni President, Saleh, has accepted it, and because the regime is chaired by a president who is loyal to the USA and the west. He was fighting a war in their name against al-Qaeda, while the Syrian regime has none of these. There are also no indications that Bashar al-Assad is ready to depart.
Secondly Russia and China had lost two oil allies in Iraq and Libya, and before that Russia had lost a communist regime in Afghanistan. They are sure not to be ready to lose Syria which is close to Turkey and the main base on the Mediterranean.
Thirdly most of the Yemeni people used to be behind the revolution, including the President's tribe "Hashed," while the Syrian people are split, as one third of the people are supporting the regime, a second third opposing it and another third is in the middle and had not decided yet, according to the editorial of the Guardian. Most important than that is the Syrian army which had not split in the way that the Yemeni army had done, but there are some limited schisms without heavy weapons.
Most of the President's Alawite sect is supporting the regime, in addition to some other minorities and a great deal of the middle class(the merchants, the professionals and the competent intellectuals.)
If al-Assad accepted to depart will the security and military forces allow that. There is also the small close - decision making circle, will they accept the departure resolution after all these losses, so as to meet the fate that won't differ from that of Gadafi men and before him Sadam Hussein's.
In short it could be said that the opportunities of the Yemeni solutions seem to be limited, and this situation will change if the Syrian army collapsed, and President Asad comes to a conviction that his security solutions failed and is looking for a lifeline.
There are no indications for the time being of the admittance of the Syrian regime to defeat, and that is why the Russian insinuations of the step down of President Asad are just diplomatic maneuvers. Russia's image retreated in the area after deserting their allies in the area, Presidents Sadam and Gadafi. It may continue to support Asad for the longest possible time. We should expect a long attrition war, that may result in new massacres which the Syrian people will be its victim, but they will win at the end . we should not forget that the Marxist regime in Afghanistan fell despite the presence of the Russian army which was supporting it, unless the Russians change their strategy, however all the options are not ruled out.