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Syria is not Libya and the West is now Careful

Updated on November 5, 2012
Assad and Putin
Assad and Putin

Assad Lives by the Sword

After the demise of the Libyan regime of Gaddafi, there was talk that the next target would be Syria where a similar uprising had commenced. In fact the British Prime Minister had hinted about this as well. But that was some months back and nothing has happened. There are many reasons for this. Firstly the West and NATO have realized that toppling regimes with their support does not guarantee a West friendly regime. The chances are that a more anti West regime with hard line Islamic support may take roots. The second reason is the pro-active role of Russia and Vladimir Putin the Russian leader. For once Russia is showing its teeth as a power to reckon with.

President Assad continues in saddle and the opposition is somewhat muted. They do not have the arsenal to take on Assad and are looking to Turkey and the USA for help. The US has deputed a carrier group of the coast of Syria, but so has Russia. The West is in no mood now to get into a proxy war with Russia and so Assad survives.

The factor of Iran is also there, but Iran is no power and its support for Assad has little meaning. The real support is from Russia and that matters.Assad also has an opposition that has no teeth to fight him. The result is that Assad's army has killed a few thousand protesters and the Arab league is just blinking. Assad knows he is on a strong wicket and thus remains comfortably ensconced in power in Syria. I do not think the west, now wary of Iran will intervene in Syria. The opportune moment for this has passed and colors of the game have changed. There is little chance of Assad going away unless the army ousts him in a coup. This is highly unlikely. In the meantime the opponents of Assad just are not strong enough to overthrow him.

Assad has played his cards shrewdly and with Putin on his side the West at the moment can just wait and watch. I think it has dawned on the US that removing Assad may well usher in a pro Islamic and anti west regime.


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