Synthesis on Syria II

Just as Kofi Annan feared, Syria did not adhere to the Tuesday ceasefire plan. Syrian government forces still have not pulled out of populated areas, though some Syrian forces claim they have begun to do so according to an article from Al Jazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/04/2012410203742758407.html. The latter statement is possibly false since the Syrian government “has a history of empty promises,” the Obama administration stated in an article from the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/world/middleeast/violence-in-syria-ahead-of-cease-fire.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=middleeast. Annan hopes the ceasefire plan will be fully carried out on Thursday 4/12, but the international community is skeptical partially because Russia, one of Syria’s strongest allies, have focused their attention on the rebel groups. In an article by BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17673039 Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov “urged Mr. Annan in a telephone call to put pressure on countries backing the Syrian opposition to make sure they stuck to the ceasefire plan.” The article by the New York Times also makes a similar point, “The Russian minister criticized the opposition, saying, ‘We cannot ignore the well-known fact that the proposal of Kofi Annan has not been accepted by some, if not the majority, of opposition groups, including the Syrian National Council.’”

Kofi Annan meeting Syrian refugees in Turkey

The article by Al Jazeera focused on the condemning Syria on not following through with the ceasefire plan but the articles by BBC and the New York Times make valid points. Has the international community done enough to ease Syria of its concerns of rebel groups also agreeing to the ceasefire plan? On Sunday, Syria asked for “written guarantees” from rebel groups and neighboring countries that the rebel groups will drop their weapons, but the government have since changed its mind and asked Annan himself to write a guarantee stating the opposite will also withdraw their forces accordingly. Since the Syrian government has agreed to the peace plan, violence has escalated and action must come quick or the conflict will persist. For now, the peace plan is still intact but it is quickly losing credibility because neither the Syrian government or the opposition are willing to back down. Again I ask the question, what will the international community do come Thursday if the ceasefire does not occur and violence continues? Will the Security Council be able to come up with a solution that Russia will agree with?

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